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‘This Incident Should Never Have Happened,’ Hancock Says

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‘This Incident Should Never Have Happened,’ Hancock Says

Nearly 16,000 people who tested positive for the coronavirus were not recorded in Britain’s daily number of reported cases for a test and trace program.

Mr. Speaker, I want to take the first available opportunity to set out to the House the technical issue around case uploads discovered by Public Health England on Friday evening. This is an ongoing incident, and I come to the House straight from an operational update from my officials. On Friday night, Public Health England identified that over the previous eight days, 15,841 positive test results were not included in the reported daily cases. This was due to a failure in the automated transfer files from the labs to P.H.E.’s data systems. Mr. Speaker, this incident should never have happened. But the team have acted swiftly to minimize its impact, and now, it is critical that we work together to put this right, and to make sure that it never happens again. I want to reassure the House that outbreak control in care homes, schools and hospitals has not been directly affected because dealing with outbreaks in these settings does not primarily rely on this particular P.H.E. system. The chief medical officer has analyzed that our assessment of the disease and its impact has not substantially changed as a result of these data, and the J.B.C. has confirmed that this has not impacted the basis on which decisions about local action were taken last week. Nevertheless this is a serious issue, which is being investigated fully.

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