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Coronavirus Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:50 pm on 23rd March 2020.

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Photo of Jon Ashworth Jon Ashworth Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 4:50 pm, 23rd March 2020

I must tell the hon. Gentleman that my attempts to change the political complexion of Telford and Wrekin have completely failed to date, but I am grateful to him for his comments about the Labour council. I think that this is the nub of the matter. I have a point to put to the Secretary of State while he is still in the Chamber. Sadly, it has just been reported on social media that the case fatality figures are continuing to climb and there is some discussion that we are seeing now an exponential growth in line with Italy. I appreciate that there are different demographic issues in different nations, but, clearly, people are concerned that our death rates are increasing at a rate that suggests that we could be heading to an Italian-style situation. We all know what is happening in Italy. The point is that clinicians are warning us that our intensive care bed capacity and our high-dependency unit capacity, could very quickly be overwhelmed. We have already seen a critical incident at one hospital, and no doubt we will see more in the coming days. This is a crisis and it is a crisis that demands an overwhelming Government response.