Coronavirus

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:07 pm on 3rd March 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 1:07 pm, 3rd March 2020

We are, of course, involved in the World Health Organisation missions and in some direct bilateral missions. I have repeatedly signed off on support for more UK experts to go out around the world. The chief scientific adviser is, of course, at all the Cobra meetings on this, whether they are chaired by me or by the Prime Minister.

My right hon. Friend’s point on the bedside test is incredibly important. We are currently engaged with just over a dozen companies to try to come up with a bedside test, instead of having to take a swab from the back of your throat, Mr Speaker—should you have the misfortune to fall ill—having it sent away and brought back. Working with UK companies to get a bedside test that can be done on the premises is an incredibly important part of the diagnostic mission surrounding this disease.