Coronavirus

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 22nd April 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department was first alerted to the existence of the coronavirus pathogen.

Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which office within his Department first advised Ministers on the existence of the coronavirus pathogen.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

On 31 December 2019, Public Health England identified reports of an outbreak of undiagnosed viral pneumonia in Wuhan City, People's Republic of China and on 2 January 2020, the Department was alerted to these reports.

On 9 January 2020, Ministers were formally notified of the outbreak of undiagnosed viral pneumonia in Wuhan and provided with an update of its progression.

The World Health Organization posted a Disease Outbreak News (DON) item on 12 January which stated that a novel coronavirus was detected in 41 patients with pneumonia in Wuhan City. This DON can be found at the following link:

https://www.who.int/csr/don/12-january-2020-novel-coronavirus-china/en/

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