The UK must create a 24/7 coronavirus testing and tracing “command centre” to exit its Covid-19 lockdown, according to a new report.
A study from right-leaning think tank Policy Exchange said the command centre should be created “to oversee and implement a national testing and tracing strategy for hunting down and defeating Covid-19”.
The report said the government could model the plan on similar examples in Taiwan and Singapore and those within UK Counter Terrorism, and that it would allow the country to avoid new Covid-19 outbreaks.
Policy Exchange senior fellow Richard Walton said: “The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has exposed the limitations of traditional manual contact tracing methods, a fact that leaders of some Asian economies – including South Korea and Singapore – had already understood after their handling of previous pandemics.
“The UK will need to go much further in the use of new technology if it is to supress further outbreaks of the disease.”
It comes as a study out today from the Adam Smith Institute, a free market think tank, claims the UK economy will suffer without a coronavirus exit strategy.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has also urged the government this week to publish its exit plan for how it will ease coronavirus social distancing restrictions.
The Adam Smith Institute report said: “A phased plan would allow companies to assess the feasibility of their operations and calculate the worth of borrowing; the longer lockdown continues, the less feasible an option this is.
“An open and transparent exit plan is more likely to ensure a broad public and that measures, such as strict social distancing, can be maintained for as long as is necessary.”