Great Britain

'Come ON, minister!' Sky's Burley erupts as Tory chief fails to give track and trace stats

Health Minister Ed Argar was forced to admit, a month after the launch of the track and trace system, he doesn't know how many people have been contacted through the app after coming into contact with a COVID-19 sufferer. He explained that he does know there has been a 60 percent increase in the number of users of the new system. Kay Burley asked him: "It's been rolled out on the Isle of Wight, I hear that's going very well. How many people have been told to isolate because they've been in contact with somebody who had COVID-19?"

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Argar said: "I don't have the stats on people on the Isle of Wight who have been told to isolate.

"With the tracking and tracing, with the stats around that, that is something we are working on very swiftly."

Ms Burley interjected: "Minsiter, come on! This was May 4 when this was started that's a month ago.

"You must have figures by now if you want to roll it out nationally."

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Ed Argar

Ed Argar was forced to admit he doesn't know the statistics on the track and trace system (Image: SKY)

Kay Burley

Sky news host Kay Burley hit out at the minister for not knowing (Image: SKY)

Mr Argar continued: "Kay, I've got the percentage uptake figures which was about a week ago, it's over 60 percent."

The host added: "Of the 60 percent who registered, you don't know how many have come into contact with, have subsequently been contacted and asked to self-isolate?"

The Health Minister admitted he didn't have the exact figures for the area.

He later added the number of people being traced is "in the thousands".

Ed Argar

Ed Argar said the number of people being traced is "in the thousands" (Image: SKY)

The Government's test and trace programme needs "some bedding-in time", but "we have to move forward" on the basis it is ready for action, the deputy chief medical officer for England has said.

The scheme, designed to limit the spread of coronavirus transmission by ordering contacts of those who become infected to isolate, needs to be taken seriously by the public to work, professor Jonathan Van-Tam said.

Experts have raised concerns about how functional the service currently is, and there have been reports of major problems.

Prof Van-Tam added there were "slight differences" in systems across Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland, but affirmed he had "no real worries or doubts" that information-sharing will work smoothly.

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Coronavirus

Coronavirus symptoms (Image: EXPRESS)

Speaking at the daily Downing Street briefing on Saturday, he said: "Yes it is new, yes it was announced last week.

"Of course many countries are now putting these systems in place and there will ... be some bedding-in time required.

"But Baroness Harding has been very clear the system is ready and I think we have to move forward on that basis.

Contact tracing has got to go well. But the public have also got to engage with it and to take the advice about self-isolation very seriously."

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