Tuesday 3rd November 2020

(3 years, 7 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I think we are all aware that, as I said, we will review the restrictions on 2 December and look to ease them on a regional basis, according to the latest data. The Chief Scientific Officer has been clear that we will not be going back to normal in four weeks’ time—if we can remember what normal is now. My noble friend is absolutely right: we want to use this time to make sure that we provide the drugs that have proved to be quite effective and, as I said, start new pilots such as the one in Liverpool, so that we are able to bear down in a more effective way. We must use this time to bring the R rate down and make sure that we have the tools available to keep it down, so that we do not have to go back to further national measures such as these if we can avoid them.

Viscount Waverley Portrait Viscount Waverley (CB) [V]
- Hansard - -

My Lords, I have a quick thought, having listened to the Mayor of Liverpool this morning, about not counting into the statistics those who have multiple tests and were shown to be Covid-free first time around. Thinking of the future with hope, will the Government press for an expansion of the no-tariffs WTO pharmaceutical agreement and an acceleration of the implementation of the WTO trade facilitation agreement? What are the Government planning in preparation for a fair and equitable distribution of any Covid vaccine worldwide that leaves a positive legacy on the global trading system, particularly in relation to no tariffs on medical supplies and to efficient, digitised customs and borders?

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I hope the noble Viscount will be pleased to know that, last week, we confirmed that we will join the global COVAX initiative, with the aim of expediting the discovery, manufacture and fair distribution of a vaccine to 1 billion people.