matt hancock 17 sept - we need to prepare for winter

The Minister for Health Matt Hancock gave a COVID-19 update to the House of Commons today. The minister aired his concerns over the current growth of the virus as we head into winter; But avoided answering questions on a second lockdown.

Matt Hancock statement – 17th September 2020

Yesterday (16th Sept) 3991 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the UK; And, for the first time since July, over 100 patients are now on ventilation. With winter and the yearly ‘winter flu’ season fast approaching, the government indicated that they needed to prepare.

Hancock told ministers that “we must use this window” to prepare for winter, although many believe he should have been preparing during summer, between the COVID-19 peaks then and now.

In preparation for winter, Hancock announced £2.7 billion in extra COVID-19 funding that will be allocated to the NHS for winter; and indicated he wanted to grow the size of NHS emergency departments to help during winter.

Lockdowns – Local but not national.

Hancock spoke about the effectiveness of local lockdowns; announcing (from tommorow) a local lockdown of the North East of England, which also includes a nightly curfew on entertainment and leisure venues.

While the Health secretary boasts about the success of local lockdowns, the reality is they have been near sticking plasters. If local lockdowns HAD worked, we would not be witnessing infection rates reach new highs across the country; If local lockdowns worked the virus would not be multiplying!

Shadow Health minister Johnathan Ashworth asked the Health Minister on the possibility of another national lockdown but recieved no answer.

Government has bricked themselves into a corner. They now have to deal with a second COVID-19 peak that they neglected to prepared for; alongside a winter flu season, they have not been able to prepare for.

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