Local

Jeremy Hunt sparks fury as he calls for NHS testing despite voting against it

Jeremy Hunt voted against the testing of NHS and Social Care Staff on June 24 amid the easing of the coronavirus lockdown in the UK. But the chairman of the Commons Health and Social Care Select Committee has since called for the frontline staff to receive regular testing. He explained that 20 percent of confirmed cases originated from hospitals.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Hunt said: “There are clearly some big lessons to be learnt about patient safety.

“At the height of the crisis, we know that 20 percent who had coronavirus in hospitals actually caught the virus in that hospital.

“The lesson is very clearly you can’t keep patients safe unless you keep staff safe.

“That’s not just about PPE, it’s about regular testing so you root asymptomatic carriers of the virus and that’s somewhere I think we can go a lot further.”

READ MORE: Boris Johnson plots new Whitehall shakeup

Furious Twitter users were quick to react.

One wrote on the platform: “Jeremy Hunt wants frequent COVID-19 testing for NHS staff but the Tories voted against it in parliament last week.”

Another added: “Jeremy Hunt says one lesson we need to learn is that testing of NHS staff is vital. That’ll be why he voted against regular testing of NHS and care staff just a few days ago.”

A third person said: “Why didn’t you ask Jeremy Hunt why did he vote against regular testing for NHS staff only last week.”

His comments come as harsher restrictions are coming into force in Leicester following a surge in the number of coronavirus cases in the city.

Non-essential shops will be closed from Tuesday, the day Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks to shift focus to the recovery from the pandemic with a multi-billion pound “new deal” for infrastructure projects.

Rising numbers of cases in the East Midlands city – 10% of all positive cases in the country over the past week – mean the planned easing of restrictions on Saturday will not take place, with people have been advised against all but essential travel.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said Leicester’s seven-day infection rate was 135 cases per 100,000 – three times that of the next highest city.

DON’T MISS

Matt Hancock insists ‘it is safe’ to send children to school [VIDEO]
WHO official warns against becoming ‘too confident’ over coronavirus [INSIGHT]
Coronavirus map LIVE: WHO chief admits huge pandemic blow [LIVE]

While the exact area impacted is not expected to be made clear until later on Tuesday, Mr Hancock said Leicester and the surrounding conurbation including Oadby, Birstall and Glenfield would be included.

Local authority boundaries will complicate deciding which areas to include in the heightened restrictions, with parts of Oadby to Leicester’s south east and Birstall to the city’s north overseen by Leicestershire County Council.

Harborough, Oadby and Wigston MP Neil O’Brien tweeted the measures would “apply in outer parts of Leicester too – including all of my constituents in Oadby, Wigston and South Wigston”, but that Great Glen, a village two miles south of Oadby, was not included.

South Leicestershire MP Alberto Costa said the delay on clarification on restrictions was “frustrating”.



Tags

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
Close
Close