Bassetlaw MP says Government's decisive actions will stop the spread of coronavirus

Last week in Parliament, I was lucky enough to be drawn from the ballot for Prime Minister’s Questions and used it as an opportunity to ask about the progress of plans to upgrade the A&E services at Bassetlaw Hospital, writes Brendan Clarke-Smith.

Friday, 27th March 2020, 8:00 am
Brendan Clarke-Smith, Bassetlaw MP.

This week in Parliament I was lucky enough to be drawn out for PMQs again and I was also expecting to be voting on emergency legislation to help combat the spread of the Coronavirus.

Some of the powers in this Bill include: Police powers to detain suspected carriers for quarantine and screening; Restrictions on travel and public gatherings; Streamlining NHS procedures and allowing death certificates by funeral directors; Closing ports and airports if there is a shortage of border force staff; Police, public health and immigration officers will be able to detain people suspected of having COVID-19 and fines of up to £1,000 for refusing to submit to a test; Registering retired doctors or medical students, school closures, video links in courts, banning public events and new rules for supermarkets on food supplies.

Nobody wants to have to use these powers and it would be a lot easier if people would follow the advice they have been given regarding social distancing and self-isolation.

Unfortunately, as we saw last weekend, this advice is still being ignored by many people.

This is not a game, this is life and death.

Unfortunately, I never made it down to London.

Why? Because I started to suffer from a continuous cough and as the day progressed I also developed a high temperature.

I have been asking people to follow the guidance and to stay at home if they display these symptoms (using NHS111 online).

This guidance also applies to me and therefore I would be selfish and irresponsible if I didn't self-isolate and work from home.

Westminster is currently the number one Coronavirus hotspot in the country (Shetland is technically higher but is a statistical outlier).

After spending several days moaning and groaning in bed (thank you to my wife and son for looking after me and bringing me cups of tea and toast) other than feeling a bit bunged up and miserable I am fine.

Prince Charles has tested positive for Coronavirus, so it just goes to show that this can affect anybody.

Coronavirus is an invisible killer and we must treat it seriously and follow the advice we have been given.

It may not kill you, but you can spread the virus to others who may not be so lucky.

Brendan Clarke-Smith is MP for Bassetlaw.