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Opinion: Coronavirus is a challenge for the country

PUBLISHED: 08:30 07 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:53 09 March 2020

Brent North MP, Barry Gardiner, is concerned the coronavirus will impact on more than health.

Brent North MP, Barry Gardiner, is concerned the coronavirus will impact on more than health.

©Louise Haywood-Schiefer/lhschiefer.com/2017

Coronavirus – it’s here in the UK and it must be taken seriously.

That's why three weeks ago I met with the director of public health and the medical director of our local NHS Hospital Trust to discuss the local response to Covid-19.

Currently we are in "containment" mode but are able to mount a "full response" if the authorities deem it necessary. In the meantime, sensible precautions and hand washing seem to be the best advice.

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As Labour's trade secretary, I have also been calling on the government to prepare for the potential negative impacts of coronavirus on our supply chains and trade flows.

The uncertainty of the future trade landscape for British businesses and investors could not be at a worse time.

The escalating trade war between the United States and China is already triggering a downturn in global trade.

As both supply and demand is now curtailed jobs are at risk and the government should be working with SME (small to medium enterprise) exporters to identify new markets and help them to identify alternative supply chains.


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