Matt Hancock faces claims he rejected COVID testing advice for care homes

The then health secretary expressed concerns that expanding care home testing could get in the way of the 100,000 daily COVID test target, according to a newspaper report.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock takes a coronavirus test at a new Covid-19 testing facility in the Houses of Parliament in London watched by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle. The voluntary walk-in test centre has been set up for MPs and parliament staff who have to travel into their offices in Westminster. Picture date: Tuesday February 2, 2021.
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Picture by: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive/PA Images
Date taken: 02-Feb-2021
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Matt Hancock allegedly rejected COVID-19 testing advice for residents going into England's care homes while he was health secretary during the worst of the pandemic, according to a report based on thousands of leaked WhatsApp messages.

The Daily Telegraph claims that chief medical officer Professor Sir Chris Whitty had told Mr Hancock in April 2020 that there should be testing for "all going into care homes and segregation whilst awaiting a result".

But the leaked messages suggest Mr Hancock rejected that advice, telling an aide that the move "muddies the waters", instead introducing mandatory testing just for those coming from hospitals.

According to the investigation, he said: "Tell me if I'm wrong but I would rather leave it out and just commit to test and isolate ALL going into care from hospital.

"I do not think the community commitment adds anything and it muddies the waters."

by Wendy
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