LONDON (AP) – The British government has launched an investigation into how nearly 16,000 new coronavirus infections were reported as a result of a technical glitch, failing which could spur new outbreaks, which critics say could easily spiral out of control.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told lawmakers Monday that the problem is related to “automatic transfer of files.” The problem is believed to be connected to the file size limits on the Excel spreadsheets used in the test and trace program.
“This is a serious issue that is being fully investigated,” Hancock said. “Now it’s hard that we work together to keep it true and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Hancock’s appearance in the House of Commons was announced over the weekend. As many as 15,841 cases of the virus were not reported between October 25 and Oct. Although positive testers were told their condition, their contacts – possibly about 50,000 people – were not found, a failure that could have led to the virus developing.
He said 51% of the test-positive testers have been re-contacted and their contacts have been reached soon after.
Despite adding many new cases, he said the government’s chief medical officer had not “significantly changed” about the course of the epidemic in Europe, which, like other European countries, is on the other side of the virus.
Jonathan Ashworth, Hancock’s counterpart in the main opposition Labor Party, said the failure showed how the Conservative government planned to fight the epidemic and that the latest problem with the country’s test regime was “life-threatening”.
Legislators from all parties have criticized Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government for its lack of testing capacity, which means some people have been told to travel hundreds of miles for testing, and people have been delayed in notifying their test results.
The latest problem seems to be caused by an Excel file max out during the Excel tomated process. Although consumer software is predominant in consumer settings, experts say it has many limitations for use in many grand projects.
“If this Excel is being reported, then the limitations of Excel, which is usually a very appropriate piece of software in terms of big data, are well known,” said John Crockroff, professor of communications systems at Cambridge University.
For the test and trace program to work well, contacts should be notified as soon as possible within priority hours. The failure of the authorities to report people exposed to the virus, therefore, could lead to many more positive cases and then the need for the government to impose more undesirable restrictions on daily life.
Ashwarth condemned the government for its recent failure “on one of the most crucial issues of the epidemic,” adding that he was unaware of the contacts of new cases without notice. And we are in another wave. ”
“It’s not just shocking – it’s worse than that – and I have no consolation in saying this, but it’s life threatening,” Aishworth added.
The number of unregistered cases over the weekend has been added to the government’s daily new infections, with the number rising to 12,872 on Saturday and 22,961 on Sunday. That was up from an average of 1,000,000 new cases the day before. The number of new cases reported on Monday dropped to 12,594, but given the adjustments in missing cases, it was impossible to figure out the trend.
Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, called the mistake “very disappointing.”
“In order for the test, track and trace system to have a real impact on reducing the transmission of Covid-1 of, it is essential that test results be delivered quickly,” he said.
The UK, like many other countries in Europe, has seen an increase in coronavirus infections in recent weeks, prompting the government to announce a series of national and local bans on the infection. The new rules limit the number of people allowed to gather and impose curfews on pubs.
The UK has the highest number of virus-related deaths in Europe at around 4,400. The government’s chief scientific adviser warned two weeks ago that the country could end 1,000,000 new cases a day by mid-October if more sanctions are not lifted, leading to hundreds of daily deaths a month later.
Confusion over daily test numbers increases the uncertainty over whether restrictions are in place to stem the virus.
Follow the virus outbreak AP coverage at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak And https://apnews.com/UndersistancetheOutbreak
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