Building a test and trace system isn’t easy. But there is no excuse for Johnson’s shambles | David McCoy

Responding to coronavirus with an over-centralised and semi-privatised design was never going to turn out well

Covid-19 was never going to be easy to tackle. It’s contagious. It can be spread by infected people who have no symptoms. And it is lethal for a considerable proportion of the population. Furthermore, in the absence of an effective and safe vaccine, preventing the epidemic through lockdowns and other restrictions on social and economic life involves significant collateral damage.

But we knew from the very beginning of the pandemic that one of the ways to minimise the overall harm was to establish a test, trace and isolate system that would actively detect the disease and contain transmission wherever possible.

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