Matt Hancock has described the NHS test and trace system as “successful”, but has not provided figures on the number of people contacted.
But Channel 4 News has seen a leaked copy of the data, from Thursday – the day the system was launched – running up to Sunday.
Across England, 4,456 confirmed Covid-19 cases were reported to test and trace during this time.
Of those, 1,831 had self-registered on the website or been called and completed the NHS Test and Trace form providing information about their contacts.
Between them, they provided 4,634 contacts – af which only 1,749 have been contacted.
The figures reveal that the total number of confirmed cases reported to NHS Test and Trace is significantly lower than what we know to be the rate of infection – and that fewer than 2,000 contacts of those who have tested positive have actually been contacted by this vast army of contact tracers.
Last month the prime minister said he had “great confidence” in the “world-beating” test and tracing system that would stop a second coronavirus peak and help ease the lockdown.