Covid-19 Update

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:50 pm on 8th September 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 1:50 pm, 8th September 2020

My right hon. Friend asks an important question, and the first answer is that there is a lag between people catching the disease and the statistics for new cases and those who sadly die. The second is that this most recent rise has been predominantly, although not entirely, among younger people, who are much less likely to die. However, the danger is that they will pass it on to others and it will spread more broadly into the community. So it is important to act on these cases even though, thankfully, the current number who are dying is small.

I will try to give a better answer. Let me put it this way. If we were to wait until we saw the number of deaths rising before we took action, there would already be many people who had caught the disease and who would end up hospitalised and unfortunately die of coronavirus. We have to act before that happens and before the disease spreads to those who may die from it, because the alternative is that we will inevitably see the number of deaths rise.