We have excellent and capable people in the fields of infectious diseases, epidemiology and public health who understand the problem, writes Dr Aamir Ahmed

It is a remarkable admission of failure that after a year of Sars-CoV-2 community transmission, the UK does not have a functional and efficient test-and-trace system (MPs urge test and trace chief to prove system curbs spread of Covid, 3 February). This is galling, as we pride ourselves on a long tradition of scientific excellence, particularly in the fields of virology, epidemiology and public health. An excellent example of research-led policy to mitigate infectious diseases was through the work of Sir Sheldon Francis Dudley, a physician, epidemiologist and administrator, in the early 20th century.

Sars-CoV-2 is a virus and a public health problem that will be with us for the foreseeable future. We need effective testing and tracing strategies in place, not just for immediate protection, but also future mitigation. We have excellent and capable people in the fields of infectious diseases, epidemiology and public health who understand the problem and can implement informed and effective policies around testing and tracing. The government must take the issue of testing and tracing seriously. One way of showing seriousness is to put knowledgable experts in charge.
Dr Aamir Ahmed
London

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