Rennie: Contact tracing system "dangerously fraying round the edges"


Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today called on the Health Secretary to urgently expand contact tracing capacity as new figures reveal a rapid increase in the number of people who haven't been interviewed by contact tracers within 48 hours.  

Scottish Liberal Democrat analysis of Public Health Scotland data shows that over the last month the number of people waiting over 48 hours between their positive case being logged and being interviewed by contact tracers has increased rapidly:
 

Week ending

Number of people waiting 48-72 hours 

Number of people waiting more than 72 hours  

Total waiting more than 48 hours
4 October 228 213 441
27 September 120 57 177

20 September

49 23 72
13 September 57 39 96
6 September 31 7 38
Time between the record appearing on the Contact Tracing Case Management System and the positive individual being interviewed

Willie Rennie commented: 

“In the last week 441 covid-positive people waited over two days to be interviewed by a contact tracer. That is up from 177 the week before and 38 a month ago.

“These deeply troubling new statistics raise serious questions about whether the second wave could overwhelm our contact tracing system. 

“There’s no knowing just how cataclysmic the damage of these delays could be. It puts contacts, family, friends or neighbours at greater risk of spreading the virus without their knowing it.

"Every minute counts, and tracers need to learn who these people are and reach them much faster. We can't have positive cases waiting two days, three days and longer to be interviewed about their whereabouts and contacts.

"The Scottish Government’s mismanagement of students returning has contributed to an explosion of cases and it appears the system can’t keep up.  

“The Health Secretary boasted she could expand the contact tracing capacity at the snap of a finger. Well she needs to do that now. The service is dangerously fraying round the edges.” 

Ends 


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