London [UK], November 5 (ANI/Sputnik): The UK government's NHS Test and Trace COVID-19 tracking service missed more than 40 per cent of close contacts of coronavirus-positive individuals in England from October 22-28, the Department of Health and Social Care said in a new statistical update published on Thursday.
According to the department, the service failed to reach 40.1 per cent of 327,203 close contacts identified from October 22-28, up from 39.4 per cent in the preceding week, in one of the worst showings for the contact tracing system since its May introduction.
Since the NHS Test and Trace system was launched, the service has failed to reach just under one-third of all identified close contacts of coronavirus-positive individuals in England, according to the department.
Labour leader Keir Starmer has been a staunch critic of the government's contact tracing failings. In late September, Starmer called on the government to apologise for the "near collapse" of the system.
Public health advocacy groups in the UK have also criticised the government for calling the service NHS Test and Trace, when in fact private subcontractor Serco is operating the system.
The Financial Times newspaper on Tuesday reported that the government is in talks with US data analytics company Palantir to improve the service.
The Department of Health and Social Care registered 25,177 new COVID-19 cases and 492 new deaths on Wednesday. Since the start of the outbreak, more than 1.09 million positive tests and 47,742 deaths have been reported in the UK, according to the official data. (ANI/Sputnik)