The government’s contact-tracing programme failed to reach a quarter of people who tested positive for Covid-19 in England between 18 and 25 June, the latest figures show.
Only 75 per cent of the 6,183 people who tested positive for Covid-19 during this period were contacted by NHS Test and Trace staff, according to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
This means that 1,544 people with the virus – and potentially thousands of their close contacts – could not be traced by the new system.
Of those individuals who were successfully reached, 3,497 people (75.4 per cent) provided details for one or more of their recent close contacts, allowing tracers to identify a further 23,028 people who had potentially been exposed to the virus.
However, just under three-quarters of these were reached and asked to self-isolate.
The number of people not fully traced by the system includes those whom staff were unable to contact because there had been no response to text, email and call reminders, and those who were reached but declined to give details of close contacts.
Over the same period, nearly 72 per cent of test results conducted via regional test sites were submitted to the system within 24 hours of the test being taken, the DHSC said. In contrast, just 25.5 per cent of home test kit results were returned the next day.
The figures also show that of the almost 27,000 people who have been referred to the tracing programme since it began at the end of May, nearly 74 per cent have been reached and asked to provide details of contacts.