UK Report Slams 'eye-watering' Failure Of Covid Tracing
Umer Jamshaid 1 month ago Wed 27th October 2021 | 08:52 PM
The UK government largely wasted a mammoth 37 billion ($51 billion, 44 billion euros) on a test and trace programme that failed to control the spread of Covid-19 last year, a report by lawmakers said Wednesday
London, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 27th Oct, 2021 ) :The UK government largely wasted a mammoth 37 billion ($51 billion, 44 billion Euros) on a test and trace programme that failed to control the spread of Covid-19 last year, a report by lawmakers said Wednesday.
The government and its inexperienced head for the programme, Dido Harding, displayed "gung-ho confidence", the chair of the House of Commons public accounts committee said.
"That is one of the biggest concerns -- it is almost as if the taxpayer was an ATM machine. That lack of regard for taxpayer funding is a real concern for us as a committee," she said.
When the pandemic erupted early last year, Britain tried to build from scratch a mass programme to test for new cases and trace infected people.
The MPs' report said Harding and the government had relied too much on expensive outside contractors instead of existing networks in the state-run National Health Service.
Uptake of services offered by the programme was "variable" and "only a minority of people experiencing Covid-19 symptoms get a test", the report said.
Overall, it concluded, the scheme "has not achieved its main objective to help break chains of Covid-19 transmission and enable people to return towards a more normal way of life".
The government defended the testing programme, insisting that more people now receive tests than in any other European country.
Jenny Harries, head of the UK Health Security Agency, said it was "saving lives every single day and helping us fight Covid-19 by breaking chains of transmission and spotting outbreaks wherever they exist".