Covid-19: Contracts and Mass Testing Programme - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:39 pm on 4th November 2020.

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Photo of Lord Bethell Lord Bethell The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 12:39 pm, 4th November 2020

My Lords, the noble Lord will remember that at the beginning of this year the global supply of PPE, in particular, and other medical supplies completely collapsed. There was a global drought in the supply of key materials necessary for the protection of doctors, nurses and front-line healthcare staff. In those circumstances, we relied on a very large network of contacts and formal and informal arrangements in order, under extremely difficult circumstances, to reach the people who could manufacture these supplies, often moving their manufacturing from one product to another.