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England test and trace delays blamed for spread of Indian variant of Covid

No 10 confirms delay in tracking contacts in eight areas – including Blackburn with Darwen, where variant has surged

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Downing Street has confirmed there was what it called “a short delay” in tracking down the contacts of people who tested positive for coronavirus for several weeks, a failure being blamed for assisting the spread of the variant first identified in India.

According to local public health reports seen by the BBC, the shortfalls in the test-and-trace system during April and May affected eight local authorities in England, including Blackburn with Darwen, one of the areas most closely linked with the India variant.

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