Covid-19 Update

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:31 pm on 5th October 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 4:31 pm, 5th October 2020

On the core of the hon. Lady’s point, the assessment of the epidemic on the basis of the updated data is core to our approach to tackling the epidemic. The chief medical officer has analysed the new data, which we have now published—on coronavirus.data.gov.uk we can see the data, and that is on the corrected basis. Based on Joint Biosecurity Centre analysis, the CMO’s advice is that the assessment of the disease and its impact have not substantially changed. That is because the just under 16,000 cases were essentially evenly spread, so it has not changed the shape of the epidemic. It has changed the level, in terms of where we are finding the epidemic and in what sorts of groups.

The hon. Lady asks how many contacts have been contacted, as opposed to how many of the primary index cases. As I said, that is happening concurrently, so as soon as the index case has been contacted by Test and Trace and interviewed, the contacts are immediately contacted. As I said, we have got through 51% of the backlog over the weekend, and we have brought in more resources to complete that task.