17th May, 2021

Campaigners call for contact tracing to run locally

Laura Kearns 28th Apr, 2021 Updated: 28th Apr, 2021

PROTESTORS took the steps of Leamington Town Hall to demonstrate against government’s Test and Trace contract.

Supporters of South Warwickshire Keep our NHS Public (SWKONP) called on government to cancel its contract with Serco for running its contact tracing call centres.

The campaigners, who gathered on Tuesday (April 27) are calling for contact tracing to be run locally and given to Public Health Warwickshire instead of private companies.

SWKONP secretary Anna Pollert said: “Government renewed Serco’s contract last October, despite the public outcry at its poor performance.

“It has failed us in this pandemic. The government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) said 80 per cent of an infected person’s close contacts must be contacted and told to self-isolate within 48 to 72 hours. But Serco has consistently failed to reach this target.

“It’s great the vaccine programme is successful, but Covid is still here and with potentially resistant variants we need an effective testing, contact tracing and quarantine system. To be successful, contact tracing should be decentralised and run locally, with community knowledge, trust and support for those who are asked to self-isolate.

“We’re demanding government does not repeat its mistake and renew Serco’s contract.”

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