Coronavirus: Tony Lloyd MP writes to Health Minister

Tony Lloyd, MP for Rochdale, has written to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care following the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the borough of Rochdale.

Tony Lloyd said, “As COVID-19 takes hold across the UK, it is looking increasingly likely that many people will be forced into some degree of self-isolation.

“However, the public information campaign on COVID-19 needs to reassure people that, whilst this is an epidemic, it could be better controlled if sensible advice is followed.

“There is still public uncertainty as to what procedures to follow, and members of the public are attending surgeries relatively innocently with colds and flu-like illnesses. It is evident that a co-ordinated process of communication is needed between the health organisations and media outlets.”

There are half a million elderly and people particularly vulnerable to the Corona virus in the country’s care homes, with managers in these homes looking for advice.

HMP Buckley Hall in Rochdale is a particular example where prisoners and prison staff, who are forced to live and work in a close community with frequent movement, could create the perfect storm of disease transmission vectors.

In his letter to Matt Hancock MP, Tony Lloyd writes “If COVID-19 spreads as modelling suggests it will, some hard choices will need to be considered about how to protect groups that are more vulnerable to the disease.

“It is important that there is an early announcement on funding for public health given that Directors of Public Health still do not know their public health allocation for the next financial year starting next month.

“I look forward to your response on these comments.”

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