MP questions Health Secretary and Chief Medical Officer over Wuhan Coronavirus and highlights confusing advice for North Wales residents

Vale of Clwyd MP Dr James Davies has questioned the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, this week over the Wuhan coronavirus and the length of time it will take to develop a vaccine for it.   

He also raised with the Chief Medical Officer the fact that national advice points to the need to ring 111 with any concerns, but that 111 does not yet exist in North Wales.

North Wales and some other parts of Wales are the only areas within Great Britain where the 111 service is yet to be available.

He said: "If China can build a 1,000 bed hospital in a week, you'd think Cardiff could roll out 111 to North Wales before 2021."

The latest public health advice for coronavirus in Wales can be found at https://gov.wales/coronavirus

With the worldwide total number of deaths from the Wuhan coronavirus currently standing at over 1,000, and reports of increasing numbers of cases in the UK, on Tuesday (February 11th) in the House of Commons, James called on the Health Secretary to “provide an update on the likely timescales for the development of a vaccine for Wuhan coronavirus, and on Britain’s contribution to that”.

The Secretary of State for Health, told James that the UK Government have put £40 million into the global and domestic efforts to find a vaccine and that work is progressing, but that “it takes time not just to develop a vaccine, but to ensure that it is assured and safe to use”.

Commenting after the Parliamentary exchange, James, who worked as a doctor for 16 years, said: “The Wuhan coronavirus is undoubtedly a major challenge globally and obviously the sooner we develop a vaccine the better, and I welcome all the efforts by the UK Government to this end.

“In addition to the £40 million the Government have put into global efforts to find a vaccine, the Secretary of State for Health announced in the House the immediate launch of a capital facility to support any urgent works the NHS needs for the coronavirus response, such as the creation of further isolation areas and other necessary facilities.

“Until a vaccine is developed, I urge everyone in the Vale of Clwyd to please follow the latest advice from public health authorities”.