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Covid-19

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:06 pm on 16th March 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 6:06 pm, 16th March 2020

The whole of our action plan is based on the science and on as much transparency as possible. We have exhibited unprecedented transparency in this crisis so far, and I pledge again to full transparency, publishing, for instance, the modelling that underpins the scientific advice, and also publishing the action plan two weeks ago. At the time, that felt as if we were looking at some things that were quite out of the ordinary, and I do not think that anybody then anticipated that we would have to bring them in in the way we have, and as many countries have now brought them in. I pledge once again to that transparency.

The hon. Lady is completely right about PPE, and we need to expand the amount of PPE. Again, we are buying it, as with ventilators, as fast as we possibly can, and part of our call for a national effort to manufacture includes PPE.

I want to end my answer to the hon. Lady by saying something about those who work in the NHS. The NHS will face an extraordinary period and many people will do extraordinary things, but it will be very, very difficult. I pay tribute in advance to the service that every single person who works in the NHS will give.