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

That is a very good question and it is important that we get that right. One reason why we have set out this plan, which includes measures that we hope not to take and may not take but are prepared to take if necessary, is that, should those measures be taken, it will not be a surprise to people—they are clearly part of a plan. I do understand—of course I do—that people are worried about this, and I also understand that some of the things we are proposing, and some that other countries are doing, are not the sort of things that a Government in a free country normally does. That is why we have taken this approach. It is quite unusual in Government to set out a plan of things that we might do; we normally set out what we are going to do. The reason we have done so is precisely in response to the concern that my hon. Friend wisely raises. We want to do everything we can to reassure people, while not over-reassuring and instead being totally transparent about our frank assessment, based on the science, of the situation that the country is in and what we can best do to get ourselves best through this and fight this disease.