Matt Hancock: Contact tracing is working

07 July 2020

Health Secretary, Matt Hancock answered an urgent question from the Shadow Health Secretary, Jon Ashworth on coronavirus and the Government's response to the virus.

Matt Hancock: "we are bringing coronavirus under control"

Health Secretary, Matt Hancock told the House that "we are bringing coronavirus under control".

He said:

"Yesterday's figures showed 352 new cases, the lowest since lockdown began, and that's down from over 5,000 a day at the peak.

"209 patients are currently in mechanical ventilator beds with coronavirus, down from 3,300 at the peak.

"The latest number of deaths recorded in all settings in the UK was 16."

He said "our plan has always been to lift the national lockdown" and use "targeted action to supress the virus", referring to local lockdowns.

He went on to talk about Leicester's local lockdown, saying:

"since then we've been working with Leicester and Leicestershire and I'm pleased to say that together we have brought down the 7 day infection rate from 135 to 117 cases per 100,00 people."

Mr Hancock told the House that "in reopening hospitality" the Government has "introduced contact tracing for customers". He said that the "system is working" after three pubs have used the contact tracing system to close down and deep-clean after customers had tested positive for coronavirus.

Jonathan Ashworth: "we must not be remotely complacent"

Shadow Health Secretary, Jonathan Ashworth said "we are through the peak but we must not be remotely complacent."

He welcomed the news about Leicester but asked about the exit strategy from the local lockdown and the criteria for Leicester to come out of local lockdown.

He asked the Health Secretary to "look again at sick pay entitlements" as many places who have had outbreaks, such as Leicester, have usually been characterised by "low pay, insecure work and lack of decent sick pay".

The Shadow Health Secretary also asked why healthcare workers are not being routinely tested when "asymptomatic transmission is a problem".

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