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UK's plans to tackle possible coronavirus pandemic examined

3 March 2020

Health and Social Care Committee questions the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty on how well prepared the UK is to deal with the impact of a possible coronavirus global pandemic.

Witnesses

Thursday 5 March 2020, Thatcher Room, Portcullis House

From 9.00am

  • Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England, UK Government’s Chief Medical Adviser and head of the public health profession.
  • Dr Jenny Harries, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England.

Session background

The CMO for England, the UK Government's Chief Medical Adviser, will be asked to detail current planning to deal with an upsurge in cases of coronavirus, preventative measures to safeguard public health, options for containing the virus and how prepared the NHS is to deal with a major outbreak. It is the first hearing of the new Health and Social Care Committee.

Chair's comment

Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, said:

"We're seeing a daily global increase in fatalities and spread of the coronavirus. It's crucial that the Government acts urgently to ensure that the NHS is well prepared to deal with a major outbreak here in the UK.

Lives will be saved in future by the planning that's happening now. The Health and Social Care Committee is losing no time in calling in the Chief Medical Officer to scrutinise emergency plans that would halt and contain the spread of the virus.

The social and economic consequences for our country cannot be underestimated and we will be looking to Government and public health leaders to set out clearly a plan of action to deal with a potential crisis."

Further information

Image: Parliamentary copyright