We still do not know why 15,841 confirmed cases of corona virus were effectively lost in the English test system.
The Prime Minister called this a “computer problem”. Elsewhere it is referred to as a “stumble”.
What we do know is that on September 24th Something went wrong with the system The lighthouse connects labs with the Public Health UK (PHE). Typically, new cases are sent to the PHE by test and trace, and then they are added to the daily total. But, since September 24, some results have not appeared.
I have seen a copy of the note sent by PHE to the Directors of Public Health in the Northwest, which contains a table showing how the lost cases were structured. On the first day, 957 was not filed. On October 2, the day the problem was discovered, 4,786 cases were not included in the system.
This is almost 5,000 positive cases not included in the daily national total and – most importantly – not sent for test and trace.
The note contains some important comments on the practical impact of this message. First, it makes clear that this issue does not affect anyone’s results. Everyone who tested positive was informed and asked to self-isolate “in the normal way”.
The note also states that the data issue did not change any local locks, which said it had “no impact on controls”, which imposes local restrictions on all important Gold meeting. It adds: “If anything, it shows that the virus is at a local stage and is rising.”
It remains to be seen whether it is accurate. What is undeniable: The impact of this problem on the test and the trace. None of these positive cases were found to be related, so Test and Trace now handle significant backlinks. A contact tracer says they welcomed the message “with fear”.
The impact on Test and Trace is really an impact on everyone. At a time when the virus is spreading fast, more than 15,000 people have gone undetected – most of them are now too late to catch up. The UK’s most important defense against the virus was ignored by internal error.
We now know that corona virus figures have been severely underestimated for more than a week. The effect of this problem may still last a long time.
I was told that a “serious incident” was reported yesterday at the Test and Trace. Because it is so dangerous, serious is definitely the word to say.