Speaking to ITV Good Morning Britain viewers, Dr Khan claimed that as only 50 percent of people who have been in contact with someone who later tested positive for coronavirus are complying with isolation rules, a second wave of coronavirus could be bigger than the one suffered by the UK in spring. He warned that with the reopening of schools and parents going back to work in September, the country is in for a “recipe for disaster”.
He said: “What they are predicting based on a computer model is that if the test and trace system doesn’t pick up to what they expected to be and what it should be, we could well phase a second peak bigger than the first peak, in December.
“What they’re looking at really is how many people are being tested, how many people are being contact-traced and then isolating.
“Ideally, around 75 percent of people with coronavirus symptoms should be tested, 68 percent of their contact should be isolating.
“But currently that level stands at 50 percent being isolated. So there are potential contacts wondering around passing on this virus.
“With schools reopening and potentially parents going back to work in September, that’s a recipe for disaster.
READ MORE: Coronavirus update: Spread of the virus by faeces
“So we need people to get tested and we need people to be isolating if they are contact-traced as well.
“And we need the public to trust this NHS test and trace system.”
The NHS Test and Trace programme “is delivering” but “there’s always more to do”, minister for regional growth and local government Simon Clarke has said.
Mr Clarke insisted the programme to track those with Covid-19 was working, adding “schools are going to reopen in full in the autumn”.
He told Sky News: “I think it’s obviously vital that we always continue to keep up the progress that we’re making with test and trace, which is a massive national undertaking and it is working, I really would emphasise that.
“184,000 people so far have been contacted by the programme, either who’ve tested positive or their contacts, and those people have all been allowed to self isolate, removed from the community at a time when they could be at risk of spreading the virus.
“That’s obviously a massive success, we reach over 80% of positive test results and contact over 75 percent of their close contacts, so this is a programme which is delivering and which is helping to keep us all safer.
“There’s always more to do, we continue to work very hard to boost our testing capacity … we’re on track to deliver half a million by the end of October. But one thing is clear, schools are going to reopen in full in the autumn, that is not up for debate.”
Mr Clarke told Sky News: “There’s always more to be done, we’re very honest about the fact this is a challenge. There’s a massive role here for the public in helping us with this process, because in the end it is up to all of us to do the right thing.”
Vaccine plan unleashed: ‘Fill and finish’ scheme [INSIGHT]
Nicola Sturgeon blasted as she blames youngsters for COVID clusters [VIDEO]
Coronavirus map LIVE: It’s too late! UK weeks away from second wave [LIVE BLOG]
On schools, he said: “There’s nothing gung-ho about getting schools back.
“There is little doubt about the major damage that it does to children’s education not to be in school.
“We’ve lost half a year now to this virus … and it’s disrupted every child’s education.
“It is an absolute priority that we get on with this, it is a basic matter of social justice, there is a generation of children whose performance will be inhibited throughout the rest of their time in education unless we get this right and we’re confident that we can.”