Government to publish scientific advice behind plan to tackle coronavirus

The government will publish the scientific reasoning behind its coronavirus action plan, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.

He told Sky News the scientific advice would be published “in the coming days”.

Boris Johnson has said the government’s approach to tackling the virus has been “science based”.

But he’s faced questions about why the UK has been slower to implement bans on public gatherings, school closures and stronger lockdowns on travel.

The Health Secretary defended the Government's response to the outbreak and insisted ministers will publish modelling over the pandemic "in the coming days".

He told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge: "It's about making sure you do the right thing at the right time. We are prepared to take, if we need to, all the sorts of measures that you discussed but we will do it based on the science.

"Of course there's a lively debate about what's the best course of action. The scientific evidence is absolutely critical in underpinning our response."

  • Coronavirus: Government admits 'significant' challenge in protecting lives as more ventilators needed

  • Coronavirus: Health Secretary confirms over-70s will be told to self isolate for months

Mr Hancock was pressed on when ministers would publish their modelling so the public can assess the scale of the outbreak and scrutinise the Government's response.

"We are going to do that in the coming days," he said.

"Our scientists are extremely busy and we're working incredibly hard, but we will do that in the next couple of days."

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth has called on Boris Johnson to hold another press conference today if the coronavirus situation has changed.

  • Coronavirus: Nadine Dorries' fears for elderly mother after both diagnosed

Mr Ashworth said: "The World Health Organisation is saying that we should continue testing and contact tracing. They're saying that is the best way to break the chain of contagion.

"The UK have taken a different view that if you feel ill that you just stay at home for seven days and won't be tested.

"Many people are saying to me that they need a Covid-19 test if they're ill because they need to know whether they should be interacting with other people in a few weeks' time."

He added: "So I just need to understand better why the Government is taking a different approach, based on its science, from other countries and I think that's why it is so important that all the scientific modelling for example is published."

Mr Ashworth said: "If things have changed since Thursday, and things are changing quickly, if things have changed since the Prime Minister's press conference on Thursday then the Prime Minister should be doing another press conference today and explaining why things have changed."

Source: Read Full Article