The former Health Minister was asked to provide more clarity on the Government’s plan to fight coronavirus following Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab’s announcement the country will endure a further three weeks in lockdown. Mr Brine said: “There is a plan, a very clear plan that the Government is working through. And you’ve heard Dominic Raab today talk about the five tests, and I thought that was incredibly sensible.
BACK BRITAIN’S BRAVE NHS HEROES
“They’re the yardsticks against which they’ll measure whether we can move to the next stage where we start to lift some of the restrictions.”
The BBC host interrupted the Tory MP to highlight the difference between the UK Government’s approach to the crisis and that of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
She said: “But those were criteria, it wasn’t a plan.
“It wasn’t something as Angela Merkel has said or how she’s going about it.”
The BBC was accused of being “obsessed with Germany” by Tory MP Steve Brine
Angela Merkel is the Chancellor of Germany
He added: “They are going to be led by the science and three weeks are a long way away right now.
“I suspect there is another answer which is that there isn’t a fully formed plan right now.
“And anyway, we’ve been criticised throughout for not being clear enough and that there’s not enough clarity of message.
“I think the message is absolutely crystal clear, to stay at home, therefore, protecting the NHS and therefore to save lives.”
The coronavirus outbreak in Germany has become manageable again as the number of patients who have made a recovery has been higher than the number of new infections every day this week, Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Friday.
Chancellor Merkel said on Wednesday Germany would take small steps out of lockdown with the partial reopening of shops next week and schools from May 4.
“The outbreak has – as of today – become controllable and manageable again,” Spahn told a news conference, adding that the health care system had “at no time been overwhelmed so far”.
Earlier, Spahn said a coronavirus contact tracing app will be ready for Germans to download and use on their smartphones in three to four weeks.
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German federal and state government leaders said on Wednesday they would support voluntary use of a contact tracing app, when available, so people can quickly learn when they have had been exposed to an infected person.
Developers are working hard on an app to make sure data protection standards are “as perfect as possible”, Spahn told broadcaster ARD.
“For it to be really good, it needs more like three to four weeks rather than two weeks,” Spahn said.
Sources familiar with the matter say that the Robert Koch health institute’s contact tracing app is already ready and being tested, but its launch would be coordinated with Germany’s moves to ease restrictions on movement.
The app would run on top of a technology platform, called Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP), that is supporting similar app initiatives in other European countries including Italy.
Germany has the fifth highest COVID-19 caseload behind the United States, Spain, Italy and France at nearly 134,000 but has kept fatalities down to a relatively low 3,868 thanks to early and extensive testing.
The German authorities have, however, been more cautious than some Asian countries in using digital technology to fight the coronavirus, restrained by Europe’s strict data privacy laws and mindful of public scepticism towards any surveillance reminiscent of Nazi- or communist-era rule.
In the UK, the Department of Health said the COVID-19 death toll in hospitals in the UK had reached 13,729 as of 5pm on Wednesday, up 861 on the figure the day before.