“Today’s report from the Public Accounts Committee lays bare the vast sums of money that have been squandered on our test and trace system that continues to fail us at every turn. For over eight months Independent SAGE has been calling for a proper Find, Test, Trace, Isolate and Support system to be put into the hands of our existing public health systems. The vaccine rollout has shown what might have been, and what could still be if the resource is put in the right hands.

“It appears clear that the government’s current strategy is almost entirely reliant on a successful vaccine rollout, but we forget the role of Test, Trace, Isolate and Support at our peril. We know COVID-19 is not simply going to vanish and I’m afraid without a fully functioning system in place we will once again be forced into using the blunt instrument of lockdowns in the future. We can only hope this report acts as a wakeup call for the Government and urge them to act now, put public health professionals in charge, and give us a fit for purpose system before it’s too late.”