China could have stopped Covid pandemic by closing borders, Matt Hancock tells MPs

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that China can contain the global coronavirus pandemic by closing its borders to any international travel.

Mr Hancock told a parliamentary inquiry that changes were needed at the global level to ensure that borders are acted upon promptly as new diseases emerge in the future.

And he said it was “absolutely important” that Beijing be more transparent about future disease outbreaks, blaming Chinese secrecy for the delay in the global response.

Speaking at a joint hearing of the House of Commons Health and Science Committees, Mr Hancock said: “One of the things that hindered our initial response was the lack of transparency from China, and this has to be done in the context of future preparedness for future pandemics.” must be kept right.”

“It is absolutely vital for the world that China be more transparent about its health information as soon as it recognizes that there are problems in the future.”

Mr Hancock said the experience had justified the government in its decision last spring not to unilaterally close the UK’s borders, which he said would only delay the spread of Covid-19 by a week.

He said he has “clear clinical advice” that stopping international travel in and out of the UK will not protect the country unless all other countries do.


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