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Health

Britain opens investigation into coronavirus test and trace glitch

FILE PHOTO: An NHS test and trace worker sorts through coronavirus (COVID-19) tests at a drive-through testing facility in Bolton, Britain, September 7, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s government has launched an investigation into why a technical issue with its test and trace programme had not been identified sooner, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday.

Britain reported a jump in COVID-19 cases after a technical issue meant that more than 15,000 test results had not been transferred into computer systems on time, including for contact tracers, a response that is seen as key to control the virus.

“There was a technical issue in the process that transfers positive test results into the reporting dashboards ... that was resolved and all of the cases have been fed into the contact-tracing system,” the spokesman said, adding that additional contact tracers were being used.

“An investigation is under way to determine why the issue was not identified sooner.”

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper, editing by Estelle Shirbon

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