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Covid-19 Update

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:23 pm on 24th March 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 2:23 pm, 24th March 2020

On the last point, there was an urgent question about exactly that issue. It really is a matter for the Treasury. The hon. Gentleman is right that contact tracing is incredibly important, and the amount of contact tracing that we have done is one of the reasons why we have managed to be behind other European countries in the curve. At this stage in the epidemic, it is not possible to have contact tracing for everybody, as we can when there is a very small number. We are looking at how we can do that better and enable individuals to contact trace, including by using technology.

The hon. Gentleman asked about refugees. I do not know whether he was in the Chamber yesterday, but that subject was brought up and I said that I would look into it. I will get back on that as soon as I can.

The hon. Gentleman asked about the number of ventilators. We started with around 5,000 and we now have more than 12,000, which we have bought. We have also made the call to arms for manufacturing capability to be turned over to ventilators, and that has been very successful.

I strongly endorse and support the backing of the Scottish Government and the SNP in the UK-wide approach to getting the message out to everybody that the most important thing anybody can do is stay at home.