Coronavirus in Scotland: contact tracers fail to alert thousands of people who tested positive for Covid-19

More than 3,500 Scots who have tested positive for coronavirus have not been spoken to by Covid-19 contact tracers.

In addition, more than 9,000 people who were contacts of someone with the disease were unable to be traced.

The figures emerged after a “coding error” was found to be responsible for overestimating the number of people contacted within 24 hours of testing positive for the virus.

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Now the Scottish Government has said there are a “small minority of cases it has not been possible to reach”.

Thousands of people in Scotland have not been alerted by contact tracing systems despite testing positive for Covid-19 picture: JPI Media
Thousands of people in Scotland have not been alerted by contact tracing systems despite testing positive for Covid-19 picture: JPI Media

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It said these individuals have not responded to “repeated attempts by the contact tracing service”.

Public Health Scotland figures show that since June 22 a total of 3,512 individuals with a positive test were unable to be contacted by staff from the Test and Protect system.

The report said this was 6% of those who had tested positive, describing it as a “very small proportion” of the number of cases.

There were a further 9,252 contacts of coronavirus patients were unable to be reached since June 22 – representing 4% of this group.

Labour health spokeswoman Monica Lennon said: “Thousands of people who tested positive have slipped through the net, as have thousands of their close contacts.”

She called for action from both First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Health Secretary Jeane Freeman.

Ms Lennon added: “The Cabinet Secretary and the First Minister need to cut out the spin and complacency.

“Fix Test and Protect for all our sakes.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “It is vital people engage with contact tracing teams whether they have been tested for Covid-19 or are identified as a contact.

“Anyone taking a test will be asked to provide their name and a contact phone number.

The news comes the day after Scotland recorded 64 new deaths yesterday, the highest daily death figure released by the Scottish Government since May 6.

Public Health expert Professor Linda Bauld said case numbers are not going down quickly enough despite the current restrictions and warned it is "difficult" to look ahead to a period where people might be able to see others for Christmas who are not from their household indoors.

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