They did know! Labour MP erupts as Covid ruling damns Hancock on care home releases

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Peter Kyle has claimed advice issued by SAGE proved the Government should have been aware of the risks surrounding asymptomatic covid transmission in care homes. The Labour MP denounced Matt Hancock’s failure to protect vulnerable residents and care staff and declared a parliamentary address he made proved Hancock knew the potential consequences of releasing patients to care homes. Speaking of the Government’s awareness of asymptomatic transmission, Mr Kyle declared “they did know at the time.” The High Court has ruled policy surrounding the release of untested hospital patients to care homes during the pandemic was “unlawful.”

The Labour MP argued the Government had access to scientific evidence of a severe risk of coronavirus spread through asymptomatic patients.

Speaking to BBC Newsnight, Mr Kyle said: “The SAGE advisory group did actually issue advice on the 27th January saying that asymptomatic transmission was happening and it was a thing.”

The MP for Hove explained he was fully aware of the issue within his constituency and failed to comprehend the Government’s apparent lack of knowledge.

He claimed, “by mid-March I had already complained locally about the number of people being taken out of hospitals.”

Mr Kyle sympathised with the pressure placed on care homes as he detailed, “many care homes tried to resist but they were coerced.”

A statement issued by a spokesperson for Matt Hancock declared “Mr Hancock acted reasonably on all counts.”

The former health secretary defended the policy to release hospital patients to care homes and argued he was not supplied with satisfactory scientific evidence opposing the practice.

“Public Health England failed to tell ministers what they knew about asymptomatic transmission,” declared Mr Hancock’s spokesperson.

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The Labour MP vehemently denied the claims of Mr Hancock that he was not privy to the asymptomatic transmission risk.

He said: “On the 25th March I raised this to the Prime Minister in the House of Commons and Matt Hancock was sitting next to him.”

In an address to the House of Commons on March 25, 2020, the Labour MP announced “I’d like to draw attention to the fact that the Oaklands care home in my constituency has had a really difficult time lately.”

Mr Kyle explained, “14 of the 20 residents were exhibiting symptoms, seven of the staff were off sick so they could isolate – they were agency staff who’d also been working in other care homes.”

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Attendants of the care home were placed at risk of illness as Mr Kyle declared “none of the protective equipment requested arrived.”

The address during Prime Minister’s Questions highlighted concerns of rapid coronavirus spread throughout care homes across both staff and residents.

Mr Hancock was present on the front bench of the House during the speech but continues to deny he had adequate knowledge of the risk to care homes.

A High Court ruling has declared the Government, including the former health secretary, failed to consider valid scientific warnings against the release of untested hospital patients to residential care homes.

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