Covid-19 Update

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:31 pm on 10th November 2020.

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Photo of Aaron Bell Aaron Bell Conservative, Newcastle-under-Lyme 1:31 pm, 10th November 2020

I join my right hon. Friend in praising the work of the vaccine taskforce in securing so much of this first encouraging vaccine and the work it has done to have a good portfolio.

Let me turn to the joint inquiry of the Science and Technology Committee and the Health and Social Care Committee, which met this morning. We considered test and trace, but it seems to me that the third part—the isolation part—is key. This 20% figure has been bandied about, but Baroness Harding was able to give us a preliminary figure of 54% for the people who manage to observe staying at home. Does my right hon. Friend agree that we need more data about this? We need to understand how many people are staying at home—I realise it is not completely binary—but also how that varies between people who have positive tests and people who have been asked to isolate. Like my right hon. Friend Jeremy Hunt, the Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee, may I ask my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to look at Sir John Bell’s suggestion that people who are merely contacts could be released from quarantine earlier through rapid testing?