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

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 7:05 pm, 11th March 2020

We are increasing the number of beds, and, by moving away from some of the elective activity, making more beds available. However, I want to pick my hon. Friend up on one thing: as and when this virus becomes widespread, isolation becomes less important than ventilation. The normal flu procedures are that keeping several people who all have the same flu in one room—in one ward—is absolutely fine, because they cannot infect one another because they all have the same disease. Isolation is vital in the contain phase. It is still important in delay, but as we get through to mitigating the impact, the need for isolation facilities is less important.