Green councillor to put motion to Gloucestershire County Council calling for a local contact tracing.
As more evidence emerges daily of the failure of the government test-and-track system, Greens are calling for Gloucestershire to establish its own contact-tracing system.
Cllr Rachel Smith, who will be putting the motion to Council, said:
“It's clear the government's centralised contact tracing system is failing, and the absence of contact tracing throughout the pandemic has caused thousands of needless deaths. With lockdown lifting, and the virus still in general circulation, we urgently need local leadership and public health expertise to take responsibility for containing the spread of the virus in the county through the establishment of a locally based, trusted and reliable contact tracing system in Gloucestershire.”
Cllr Eva Ward said:
“As well as presenting serious challenges to our community’s health, the impact of Covid-19 is also a major social justice issue. It is the most vulnerable in the community, including low income families and those children unable to return to school, that suffer most from the lack of confidence a robust local contact tracing system could bring. I am aware that some people are still afraid to leave their homes as they haven’t had sufficient assurance that it is safe to do so.”
The proposal draws heavily on the work of the authoritative Independent SAGE group of leading public health experts and examples of local systems in Ceredigion and Cumbria where many lives have been saved due to rapidly tracking down cases of infection .
The Independent Sage fifth assessment report highlights three crucial ways in which the ‘test and trace’ system must be strengthened if we are to build a protective shield against further outbreaks or worse, a second wave:
- Empowerment of the established and trusted local health system including those concerned with disease prevention such as environmental health officers and public health departments.
- An integrated approach, based on well-established systems of population infection control called Find, Test, Trace, Isolate, and Support (FTTIS).
- Data must be linked into local public health departments and GP practices with assured systems for data protection and privacy.