NHS races to reach 50,000 Covid contacts missed in data blunder

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Government accused of putting lives at risk after 15,841 cases omitted from official figures

Contact tracers are scrambling to reach up to 50,000 people who should be self-isolating after ministers were accused of “putting lives at risk” with a spreadsheet blunder that led to coronavirus cases going unreported.

MPs from across the political spectrum rounded on the health secretary, Matt Hancock, after it emerged that official figures missed 15,841 positive results due to a “catastrophic” data error.

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