Wuhan Coronavirus

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:28 pm on 3rd February 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 4:28 pm, 3rd February 2020

Let me make it absolutely clear that I do not recognise, and the Government do not recognise, the figure that the hon. Gentleman has given for the number of people who have recovered. The mortality rate is estimated to be about 2%. Of course we will revise that figure as more information comes to light, but the figure that he gave for the number who have recovered from the disease appears to be very low in comparison with the information that we have.

Of course we have plans in case the disease becomes widespread globally and widespread here, and we are constantly working on those plans to ensure that we are as ready as possible. We have plans in place, and we had them before the virus arrived here. We are working through those plans, and I will endeavour to update the House whenever I possibly can.

I began by paying tribute to the shadow Secretary of State. Normally when I am nice about the shadow Secretary of State, he thinks that I am doing it to damage his political career. There may be some truth in that, but in this case he is acting in the most responsible and high-minded way, and I think that the whole House should pay tribute to him.