‘We are putting more resources into contact tracing in York,’ says health secretary Matt Hancock

Health secretary Matt Hancock in the Commons on Monday. Photograph: UK Parliament / Jessica Taylor
19 Oct 2020 @ 9.24 pm
| Politics

Matt Hancock has insisted that the government is putting resources into contact tracing in York.

Speaking in the Commons today (Monday), the health secretary said the key to successful contact tracing in the city was teamwork.

He was responding to a question from York Central MP Rachael Maskell.

The Labour MP challenged the minister on the day it was rumoured that the government was considering putting York into Tier 3, the highest level of restrictions – speculation denied by City of York Council.

She said: “To prevent further restrictions being placed on York, we have to lock down this virus, not lock down people and the economy.

“We know that the key to this is local contact tracing, and the reality is that the shadow contact tracing undertaken by my local authority has been more accurate, more effective and more responsive.

“That is the key to getting on top of this virus, so when will the Secretary of State release all the data to local authorities and give them the resources they need so that they can do the job properly and get on top of the virus?”

In reply, Mr Hancock said: “We are absolutely putting more resources into contact tracing in York.

“It is only because of the combined effort of the national and local team that we are able to do the work that she describes, because the national system can deal with the cases who are easy to get in contact with, or who prefer to do contact tracing over the internet, rather than on the phone, which is a lot of people.

“That means that the local authority, as in the case that the hon. Member describes, can do its work locally, so it is about having a team effort.”