Matt Hancock says to Peston: test and trace could result in repeated self-isolation


Health Secretary Matt Hancock admitted that people could end up in isolation many times even if they did coronavirus when test and trace is launched Thursday in England.

Speaking to ITV’s Peston program, Hancock explained that due to the number of unknowns still linked to the coronavirus, quarantine is the safest option, even if someone has already had the respiratory disease, due to the lack of definitive knowledge about antibodies and if they make you are immune to a new infection or are able to transmit the disease to others.

Asked whether anyone who had recovered from a coronavirus should self-isolate, Mr. Hancock replied, “Yes, including me.

“I tested positive, recovered and had one of these antibody tests, I know I have the antibodies.

“But what we don’t yet know conclusively, and that’s a million dollar question, is that if you have antibodies, does that mean that you are both immune to the disease ?

“And, critically, does that mean you can’t spread the disease to other people?

“Because some people, like children, experience symptoms very, very rarely but still transmit the disease. “

For request of @peston if some people will be & # 39; very unlucky and say to isolate again, and again & # 39; @MattHancock confirms that any call from a tracer would mean that anyone should return to quarantine.

Watch the full interview at 10:45 p.m. ? and ? @ITV #peston

& mdash; Peston (@itvpeston) May 27, 2020

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Hancock conceded that the test and trace could mean that people could end up in a cycle of entering and leaving self-isolation.

Mr. Hancock said, “That’s the nature of it, and it’s not an accident, it’s actually by design, because the point of it is to find out who is most at risk, ask them to isolate themselves, which will help we reduce the R, with fewer measures on the whole population. “

Mr Hancock was also asked if we would follow France’s abandonment of hydroxychloroquine – an antimalarial which has not been proven to fight coronavirus and which President Donald Trump takes as a preventive measure against Covid -19.

The health secretary said, “Well, again, this is an important clinical issue and clinicians are examining this issue right now.

“And of course because there has been evidence over the past few days about the negative impacts of hydroxychloroquine. “

When asked if he could give up on him completely, Mr. Hanock replied, “Well, this is something we are looking at and it absolutely must be a clinical decision. “

The Prime Minister said it was a priority to establish whether the social distance of one meter was safe, rather than following the current two-meter rule.

Hancock explained why two meters are considered safer: “The scientific advisory group will reconsider this question, but it is a question of degree, if I explain why it is important.

“Because at one meter, you get essentially the same impact of probability of transmission in one minute as you do in 15 minutes at two meters. “


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