Debates between Baroness Mallalieu and Lord Bethell during the 2019 Parliament

Covid-19: Restrictions

Debate between Baroness Mallalieu and Lord Bethell
Thursday 7th January 2021

(3 years, 5 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell (Con)
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My Lords, I am extremely grateful to my noble friend for that sage advice. I can reassure him that lockdowns do work—in Leicester, Bolton, Luton, Liverpool—and I can give him very clear case studies of how specific measures have affected national, regional and local outbreak infection rates. The truth is that tier 3 was enough for the original variant, but it is not enough for the new variant, which is 70% more transmittable. That has hit our country hard, which is why we have to have this new, horrible lockdown.

Baroness Mallalieu Portrait Baroness Mallalieu (Lab) [V]
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My Lords, the figures surely show that this pandemic is now endemic in our population. Clearly, lockdowns cannot permanently suppress the virus but might just temporarily prevent medical facilities being overwhelmed. What are the Government doing to ensure that vaccination is rolled out 24/7, including by Public Health England, and skilled medical staff on Covid duties are relieved from all non-specialist aspects of their work by the many skilled and suitable volunteers who are offering to help?

Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell (Con)
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My Lords, the noble Baroness analyses the situation extremely well and has laid out exactly the Government’s plan for rolling out the vaccine. She is entirely right that we are using lockdowns to bridge the gap until herd immunity is achieved through the vaccine. We have mobilised an enormous amount of the NHS, and are very grateful to the volunteers who have stepped up and are making an enormous difference. We are trying to get as much of the vaccine as possible out of the factories and warehouses, with batch control, and into the country’s surgeries and hospitals to vaccinate millions of people before the spring.