Prime Minister Boris Johnson has today announced a £600m infection control funding package to help combat the spread of the coronavirus in care homes.
Mr Johnson made the announcement during an exchange with Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer during PM’s questions.
The PM said: “A huge exercise in testing is going on – a further £600m, I can announce today for infection control in care homes.”
Mr Johnson said the number of COVID-19 casualties had been “too high” but that that number of fatalities in care homes was now “well down”.
Data published by the ONS this week revealed there were 2,423 COVID-19 related deaths in England and Wales in the week ending May 1 down from 2,800 in the week before.
Responding to the PM’s new funding announcement, Cllr David Williams, chairman of the County Councils Network, said: “Every death from coronavirus is a personal tragedy, and the number of those passing away from catching the virus in care settings is uncomfortably high. Therefore, we welcome today’s announcement over infection control, and we await further details on how the £600m funding should be used and distributed between councils.”
Meanwhile, in a further development from today’s exchange, Mr Starmer has written to the PM accusing him of making inaccurate comments about government COVID-19 guidance and asking him to “correct the record” in the House of Commons.
The move came after Mr Starmer referred to the government guidance that was withdrawn on March 13, which stated that it was “very unlikely” anyone in a care home would be infected by the virus.
The PM responded by saying: “No, it wasn’t true that the advice said that, and actually we brought the lockdown in care homes ahead of the general lockdown.”