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Engagements

Part of Prime Minister – in the House of Commons on 29th April 2020.

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Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

On the care home data, obviously we have seen the latest data come out, and there are some positive signs, but they are within the margin of error and we need to be very focused. There is a challenge in care homes and we have a plan in place to grip it. There is no sugar coating that.

I take exception to the suggestion that things are getting worse, not better. That is not true overall. We have seen, through social distancing measures, with overwhelming commitment to them by the public, and with our efforts to ramp up capacity, particularly ventilator beds and critical care capacity in the NHS, that the two central limbs of our strategy, to flatten the peak that we are going through—if we had not done that, the death toll would have been even worse—and to make sure that the NHS had the ability to cope, are working. Those two critical elements of the strategy have worked to date, and it is absolutely important that we keep up the effort on all of that.

In relation to PPE, again, when the right hon. and learned Gentleman addresses that, he must recognise that we face an international—global—supply shortage. Every country—I pick up the phone as Foreign Secretary and speak to leaders, Foreign Ministers and counterparts around the world—faces this. We are now the international buyer of choice. We have had 22 flights carrying PPE and ventilators from China this month; in the last week, over 1.5 million masks from China; three flights from Turkey with gowns and face protection; 140,000 gowns from Myanmar; and we have brought in Lord Deighton from the other place to ramp up our domestic production, supply and distribution. The right hon. and learned Gentleman is right—there are challenges on the frontline—and there is no minimising or sugar-coating any of the cris de coeur that he mentioned. I feel animated and inspired to do even better, but he needs to recognise on PPE that there is a global supply shortage, and we are doing absolutely everything that we can to make sure that those on the frontline get the equipment that they need.