Covid-19 Update

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:06 pm on 29th June 2020.

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Photo of Jeremy Hunt Jeremy Hunt Chair, Health and Social Care Committee, Chair, Health and Social Care Committee 9:06 pm, 29th June 2020

I support the actions being taken in Leicester, but, like the whole House, I feel for the people of Leicester at this particularly anxious time.

I want to ask the Health Secretary about the broader matter of testing NHS staff. He has said many times that he supports the routine testing of NHS staff, but last Wednesday—the day we debated this issue in the House—a letter went out to the NHS saying that testing NHS staff will be based on the PHE SIREN study, which is the antibody testing programme. Given that it takes up to three weeks for an antibody to show, how can a regime that is meant to stop the asymptomatic transmission of the virus to patients and colleagues possibly work?