Test-and-trace overwhelmed by six cases

THE UK’s £22bn test and trace service has admitted there is no way it can possibly track six cases of the Brazilian coronavirus variant. 

Three cases of the variant have been reported in Scotland and a further three in England, with test and trace officials confirming there is no way they can cope with an outbreak on that scale.

Baroness Dido Harding said: “No matter how highly trained our staff are or how many of them are, they are only human. In a situation like this it’s inevitable they will fail.

“Yes, it seems like there are only six people. To the layman. But each of these people could have met another six people. That’s 36 people. How can we possibly phone that many, in a matter of days?

“Also, I defy anyone to predict that people could fly from Brazil to the UK via Paris, and there’s no way that we could enforce that a form should be completed on entering the country. That’s authoritarian.

“We will, of course, make a token attempt at this impossible task, but my advice is to steel yourselves for the rapid spread of the Brazilian virus and lockdown to continue until September.”

Harding then requested a further £18m of emergency funding to hire £10,000-a-day PR consultants to protect her from dangerous media criticism.

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Are you middle-aged enough to get a shout out on Radio 2?

YOU’RE well past 40, living a cosy domestic life and exclusively listening to music that doesn’t challenge you. But can you get a shout out on Radio 2?

What are you doing at the moment? 

A) Painting the skirting boards with him indoors
B) Dusting the guest bedroom with the fam
C) Hoovering the loft with my labradoodle Bobby

How do you refer to your partner? 

A) My wonderful hubby
B) My better half
C) The light of my life

How do you refer to your children? 

A) Jasper, who’s six, and four-year-old Martha are a pair of little scamps but I wouldn’t be without them for the world
B) Ten-year-old Tom and Agatha who’s three years younger certainly keep me busy!
C) I’m a full-time cleaner, cook and entertainments manager for two boys, Josh who’s five and Jordan who’s seven

What are you looking forward to later on? 

A) A glass of red in front of Springwatch
B) A gin and tonic while watching The Great British Bake-Off
C) A white wine spritzer on the settee while we catch up on Line of Duty

What song have you requested? 

A) Don’t Stop Movin’ by S-Club 7 because it reminds me of my younger days
B) Babe by Take That because it takes me back when I saw them with the girls in Manchester
C) When You Say Nothing At All by Ronan Keating because it’s our special song from when we were courting


Mostly As: Congratulations! Your shout-out has been read out on air by Zoe Ball.

Mostly Bs: Congratulations! Your shout-out has been read out on air by Sara Cox.

Mostly Cs: Congratulations! Your shout-out has been read out on air by Jo Whiley.