Coronavirus: Questions and Letters to Ministers since February – availability of drugs to treat symptoms; lack of ventilators and protective clothing for NHS medics; the need for more rapid testing; the plight of vulnerable groups including rough sleepers; Imperial College warning of unrestricted travel; China’s arrest of critical commentators and doctors; origin of the virus in Wuhan; China’s influence on the World Health Organisation;Emergency Powers should be subject to earlier review.

Mar 24, 2020 | Uncategorized

.

Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports about the success of using hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, following a study carried out by Professor Raoult, director of the Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire de Marseille.

Tabled March 24th

Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government, following their decision to ban the parallel export of drugs used to treat malaria and HIV, whether UK stocks of such medicines are being trialled for use on patients with COVID-19; and if so, what (1) clinical evidence has been gathered, and (2) conclusions have been reached, about the efficacy of such treatment.

Tabled March 24th

=========================
Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL2673):

Question:
Lord Alton of Liverpool To ask Her Majesty’s Government what special provision they will make for the care of rough sleepers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. (HL2673)

Tabled on: 17 March 2020

Answer:
Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist:

The Government recognises the challenges faced by those who are homeless or sleeping rough during the Covid-19 outbreak. We are working closely with local authorities and the sector to minimise the risk for vulnerable people and those currently unable to self-isolate.

As an initial first step we have announced £3.2 million in emergency funding for local authorities to help rough sleepers and those at risk of sleeping rough to self-isolate. This funding will assist local authorities with providing accommodation and support to vulnerable people who are at risk of, or who have been diagnosed with, Covid-19

This is part of a £1.6 billion fund allocated to local authorities to help them respond to coronavirus (Covid-19) pressures across all the services they deliver. This includes increasing support for the adult social care workforce and for services helping the most vulnerable, including homeless people.

Public Health England have also published guidance for those working in hostel and day centre environments.

======================

Date and time of answer: 23 Mar 2020 at 16:32.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL2407):

Question:
Lord Alton of Liverpool To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the reported arrest and disappearance of (1) Fang Bin, (2) Chen Qiushi, and (3) Li Zehua, who had been live-streaming updates from Wuhan on the COVID-19 outbreak. (HL2407)

Tabled on: 10 March 2020

Answer:
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:

These reports are concerning and we are following the situation closely. We have publicly raised our concerns about the lack of due process and judicial transparency in China, including in the most recent Foreign and Commonwealth Office Human Rights and Democracy report.

===================

Date and time of answer: 20 Mar 2020 at 14:47.
Subject: Written answer to your QWA HL1839 received from Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care

 

Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL1839):

Question:
Lord Alton of Liverpool To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the (1) number, and (2) location, of microbiology laboratories in China that handle advanced viruses such as the Wuhan coronavirus; and what assessment they have made of the role any such laboratories may have had in the initial spread of the Wuhan coronavirus. (HL1839)

Tabled on: 25 February 2020

Answer:
Lord Bethell:

We do not hold this information.

Date and time of answer: 10 Mar 2020 at 14:57.

==========

Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL1239):

Question:
Lord Alton of Liverpool To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of Imperial College London’s estimate that 3,301 passengers have left Wuhan airport every day going to 20 international destinations over the last two months. (HL1239)

Tabled on: 03 February 2020

This question was grouped with the following question(s) for answer:

  1. Lord Alton of Liverpool To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many people who have flown to the UK from Wuhan, China, since the outbreak of the coronavirus was announced have been contacted; how many of those have been tested for coronavirus; what steps they are taking to (1) identify, and (2) locate, those yet to be tested; and what assessment they have made of the statement by the Chief Medical Officer for England on 24 January that there is a “fair chance” that the UK will see cases of that virus. (HL1238)
    Tabled on: 03 February 2020

Answer:
Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford:

On direct flights from Wuhan into the United Kingdom, 1,466 passengers and 95 staff arrived between 10 and 24 January. Of these, 162 of the passengers have already left the UK, 53 of the crew have already left the UK and all of the remaining passengers (1,304) are now outside of the incubation period.

As of 5 February, a total of 468 UK tests have concluded, of which 466 were confirmed negative and two positive. Information is published daily online on the Coronavirus: latest information and advice page on the Government website.

Posters and leaflets with health advice has been made available in all UK international airports, Eurostar terminals and Dover. As of 5 February, the two patients who tested positive are receiving specialist National Health Service care and we are using tried and tested infection control procedures to prevent further spread of the virus.

The NHS is extremely well-prepared and used to managing infections and we are already working rapidly to identify any contacts the patients had, to prevent further spread. We are continuing to work closely with the World Health Organization and the international community as the outbreak in China develops to ensure we are ready for all eventualities.

Date and time of answer: 12 Feb 2020 at 17:23.

===============

Oral Interventions:

Hong Kong: Covid-19 – Motion to Take Note (19 Mar 2020)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: …place. I should mention at the outset that I am a patron of Hong Kong Watch and vice-chair of the all-party groups on Hong Kong and Xinjiang. We gather today against a sombre background of the coronavirus, which has claimed some 3,237 lives in China and a further four in Hong Kong. Outside China the number of deaths globally stands at 8,971. Since its emergence in Wuhan, some 81,928…

Yemen – Question (19 Mar 2020)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: …not the moment for us to appeal to the Governments of both Iran and Saudi Arabia to urge their proxies to end this war, not least in the current circumstances where people will now be dying of the coronavirus? In this situation, does the Minister really think that anyone will be collecting data on the number of fatalities from the virus?

Covid-19 Update – Statement (17 Mar 2020)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: …a question about the diaspora and the ambassadorial corps. This morning, I was able to meet the Pakistan high commissioner, Mohammad Zakaria, who was concerned—as we all are—about the spread of coronavirus and the implications for his community; other ambassadors and high commissioners will be thinking the same. What are we doing to ensure that the corps as a whole receives...

Written Answers — Department of Health and Social Care: Coronavirus: China (16 Mar 2020)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the (1) report by the World Health Organization Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report, published on 1 March, in particular the mortality rate from COVID-19 in Hubei province, and (2) the remarks by Brendan Wren, Professor of Vaccinology at the London School of Tropical Medicine that the difference in the…

Written Answers — Department of Health and Social Care: Coronavirus: China (10 Mar 2020)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the (1) number, and (2) location, of microbiology laboratories in China that handle advanced viruses such as the Wuhan coronavirus; and what assessment they have made of the role any such laboratories may have had in the initial spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.

Written Answers — Department of Health and Social Care: Coronavirus (12 Feb 2020)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many people who have flown to the UK from Wuhan, China, since the outbreak of the coronavirus was announced have been contacted; how many of those have been tested for coronavirus; what steps they are taking to (1) identify, and (2) locate, those yet to be tested; and what assessment they have made of the statement by the Chief Medical Officer for England…

Written Answers — Department of Health and Social Care: Coronavirus (5 Feb 2020)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: …affected areas are being treated differently to those who had returned to the UK during the preceding month; and whether they have asked the World Health Organisation to declare the spread of the coronavirus as a global health emergency.

 


Letters to Ministers:

 

Sent to Ministers at the Departments of Justice, Health and Home Office ,March 23rd:

 

Further to my email to you about the importance of a more robust “sunset” provision in the emergency powers being sought by the Government, I would like to draw the attention of the Government to  the attached briefing from Liberty.

 

Two of their points touch directly on your own Ministerial responsibilities and I would welcome your response to their concern that

1). We need to safeguard the fundamental rights of people in contact with mental health services, and especially their right to liberty; and

 2) suspend the hostile environment to protect public health.

 

With kind regards,

 

====================

 

Letter to Health Minister: March 23rd

I have pasted below two reports sent to me by the Local Government Association.

I would be grateful for a response about the need for Ministerial direction of funeral arrangements for Coronavirus victims. Will attention also be given the lack of protective clothing available to those responsible for burials and cremations?

 

I would also welcome your assessment and response to the report concerning undocumented migrants who it is claimed face both Coronavirus and potential starvation.

 

With kind regards 

 

Coronavirus: Funeral directors’ warning 
Funeral directors are warning of a severe shortage of protective equipment in the UK. They are calling for a minister to take charge of burials and cremations, and are warning of a backlog of bodies.
Guardian, Times 

Coronavirus: Million undocumented migrants could go hungry, say charities 
Charities are warning that approximately a million undocumented migrants living under the radar in the UK risk not only contracting Covid-19 but also of starvation because of the crisis created by the pandemic.
Guardian

=====================

March 16 Email to Secretary of State for Health about Lack of Ventilators, drawing his attention to this article in the Telegraph:

Oxygn

======================

 

Emails to Health Minister March 14th

 

 I understand that other European countries have urgently increased production of ventilators (see the link below). Have we any plans to do the same?

 

https://twitter.com/faisalislam/status/1238750357372768256?s=21

 

The following article explains how patients dying in hospital in U.K. may have got coronavirus whilst inside.
Another reason for all staff inside the NHS to be wearing masks now – to stop breathing virus onto already vulnerable people; and breathing virus in. 

 

There are reports of tests coming available which work in minutes rather than hours and days. 

 

I hope these are rolled out ASAP. 

 

The population will be demoralised by some of the public disagreements currently being voiced. There needs to be a much more proactive approach beyond press briefings at No 10.

 

Who is the Beaverbook of this government?!

 
Coronavirus: UK deaths double in 24 hours

Ten more people have died after testing positive for the virus, NHS England says.

================================

Email sent March 17th to Health Minister

 

I would be grateful if you would let me know what action is being taken to identify, prepare, staff and protect special Covid-19 treatment centres in every community of Britain in the eventuality of an epidemic taking hold and overwhelming general NHS services, such as the sequestration of private hospitals, hotels, army barracks and public buildings as China and Italy have done.

 

 

With many thanks,

 

=================================

Email sent to Health Minister March 17th

Subject: Op-Ed: Coronavirus Is Not the Only Epidemic Coming from China

 

This op ed is well worth reading.

 

Only yesterday I signed a letter to the WHO protesting at its appalling treatment of Taiwan – at the insistence of China. Their job is to combat disease not to play politics and endanger lives as a consequence.

 

China’s infiltration and manipulation of UN agencies is an international scandal.

 

The news today that two of the CCP’s top apparatchiks in Hubei have been sacked  is a sign that the CCP is panicking and recognises the toxic role it has played in the Coronavirus crisis. But that extends right to the top….

https://www.westernjournal.com/op-ed-coronavirus-not-epidemic-coming-china/

========================

Share This