Coronavirus UK: Tory Minister leaves Sky News host stunned as he dismantles criticism | UK | News (Reports)

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The Sky News host confronted Mr Argar on the Government’s failure to provide a “world-beating” coronavirus test and trace system, arguing the characterisation was at best “hyperbolic”. He said: “There are reports that those manning the test and trace phone line are to be laid off and the work is going to be allocated regionally. Isn’t that the greatest admission that we’ve had thus far from the Government that the characterisation of it as world-beating was hyperbolic at best?”

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But Edward Argar hit back claiming the UK system was much better than many other countries around the world and had been so far a great achievement. 

He blasted: “Two points, Niall. Firstly, in terms of the stats around this and I don’t buy into your point there about this.

“I think this is actually a reflection of a successful system that as we’ve always said would flex and evolve to meet our understanding of the disease and the changing need of our community.

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“But in terms of the world-beating, the world comparators, we are one of the few countries in the world that actually publishes, transparently, quite rightly so you and others can question us all, our test and trace data.

“Other ones that do, for example New York I think the contact tracing rate is about 42 percent, California is about 68.

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“Here we are making contact with just shy of 80 percent of those who test positive and then we are making contact with around a similar amount of their contacts.

“This is better than many, many other countries.

“Look at New Zealand, they have a slightly higher percentage of success rate, they traced 360 people.

“We’ve traced a quarter of a million in the space of about two and a half months. That is a significant achievement.”

More to follow…

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