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Coronavirus

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:05 pm on 11th March 2020.

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Photo of Jeremy Hunt Jeremy Hunt Chair, Health and Social Care Committee, Chair, Health and Social Care Committee 7:05 pm, 11th March 2020

I thank both Front Benchers for the highly responsible way in which they are approaching this crisis, which shows Parliament at its best. I also thank the Health Secretary for his role in getting those very generous words for the NHS into the Chancellor’s speech this afternoon; they have been widely welcomed across the NHS and were much needed.

The chief medical officer says that we would have to be “pretty optimistic” to think we could contain the virus in this country. The deputy chief medical officer says that she thinks we may hit the peak in the next fortnight. We now have more reported cases in this country than there were in Wuhan when it went into lockdown. We know that the Secretary of State will rightly follow the science, but could I ask him to give his judgment to the House as to whether he thinks we still can contain the virus in this country and, if not, whether he expects to move to the delay phase very soon so that families up and down the country can start to prepare their loved ones for any precautions they might want to take?