Hancock claims his test and trace system has prevented ‘second spike’ witnessed in Europe

Health secretary Matt Hancock during a media briefing in Downing Street on NHS test and trace. Photo

Health secretary Matt Hancock during a media briefing in Downing Street on NHS test and trace. Photograph: Downing Street/PA. - Credit: PA

Health secretary Matt Hancock has said England's test and trace system is one of the reasons why the nation is not seeing the same spike in coronavirus cases as other European nations.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that stopping transmission is 'going well' in the UK.

'In other European countries we're seeing this big second spike. Here the cases are broadly flat, partly because of our Test and Trace system working so effectively, partly because of the quarantine and the social distancing policies,' he said.

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But he acknowledged that a so-called second wave of cases is still possible in the UK, saying: 'We're very worried about it.'

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His comments came as England recorded the highest amount of positive tests since the end of May, with 6,732 testing positive in the last week.

Hancock said mass testing, or 'Operation Moonshot' as it has been dubbed in Whitehall, is the best chance of reducing social distancing without a vaccine.

'Short of a vaccine, this is the best chance we have of reducing social distancing whilst controlling the virus, especially with winter coming, with all the challenges that brings.'

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