During a grilling on the home affairs committee, the home secretary insisted that health measures imposed at the border had “not failed” and that a “comprehensive” policy was in place.
Defending the decision to put India on the “red list” on 23 April – 17 days after Pakistan and Bangladesh – Ms Patel said it was “absolutely wrong” to suggest that ministers should be nominated by the government for travellers. Delayed a move to enforce mandatory quarantine in hotels. country.
But committee chair and senior Labor MP Yvette Cooper told him: “I don’t think there’s anyone in the country who thinks your border policy worked to stop the delta variant from spreading across the country and we can see the evidence.” “
During the first week of July, the number of covid infections now linked to the major delta version Increase in cases to over 54,000 (a 34 percent increase), according to public health data
Just last month, Professor Sir Peter Horby, Chairman of the Government’s Nervetag Advisory Group Suggested strong limit measures can be “delayed” or “even stopped” The spread of the Delta version in the UK.
“It is clear that the Delta version started airing within the UK due to introductions from other countries,” he added. BBC. “So I think it should be said that it happened and that strong border measures may have delayed it, maybe even prevented it.”
But speaking on Wednesday, Ms Patel told MPs: “The fact of the matter is, when it comes to border security, we have a comprehensive approach to end-to-end, but importantly border health measures.
“It is through 100 per cent compliance of the checks we have and of course the country will be very well aware, with the red, amber, green traffic light system.”
Pressed by committee chair Ms Cooper, who said the system had “clearly failed” because of the increase in cases of the delta variant, Ms Patel said: “We have a comprehensive end-to-end approach to managing health measures. End system is at the limit.
“The government has a long record and policy of managing health measures at the border, which is very well publicized and well aware.
“On top of that we have effectively the largest genomic sequencing capacity in the world to be able to find these forms of concern coming to the country.”
The Home Secretary said: “It is completely wrong to suggest that we have delayed putting India on the red list, which is effectively being suggested.
“There were other countries that were placed on the red list in early April including Bangladesh and Pakistan and the decision was taken on the basis of data showing the positivity rate of people entering the country and the proportion of people who tested positive .
“The date of India’s red-listing – the ban was April 23 – with everyone arriving from India then being placed in a hotel quarantine for 10 days and that too on 28, five days after the Delta version was formally screened. was placed earlier. It was termed as a form of worry on April 7 and two weeks ago.”
But, Ms Cooper added: “Unfortunately Home Secretary, I don’t think there is anyone in the country who thinks that your border policy has worked to stop the delta version from spreading across the country and we can see the evidence. .
“So it is quite disturbing that you are effectively saying that the policy has worked and is not being changed to respond more quickly.”