Matt Hancock warns we may NEVER get a coronavirus vaccine

Matt Hancock warns we may NEVER get a coronavirus vaccine and will have to ‘live with’ deadly pathogen but the Health Secretary says there is no evidence backing Donald Trump’s claim it was man-made in a lab amid suspicion at its Chinese origins

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Britain may have to get used to living under the shadow of coronavirus as there is no guarantee a vaccine will be found, Matt Hancock warned today.

The Health Secretary outlined the best-case scenario if global efforts to protect people from the deadly pathogen in a television interview this morning.

He raised the possibility that the NHS track and trace app and massive ‘track and trace’ operations could become a more permanent feature of life if a medical solution cannot be found.

But in a wide-ranging interview he also said there was no evidence that Covid-19 was man-made. 

This contradicts claims made by Donald Trump and members of his administration in recent days.

Discussing a vaccine, Mr Hancock told Sky News: ‘If a vaccine can’t be found then we have to learn to find a way to live with this virus, so that means getting the numbers down and holding them down through, for instance, mass-scale testing and then tracing the virus through a combination of technology and human contact tracers,’ he said.

He said people who are shielding for their own protection – around two million, according to NHS Digital – could be given more freedom if new case numbers are driven down.

The Health Secretary outlined the best-case scenario if global efforts to protect people from the deadly pathogen in a television interview this morning

‘We may well be able to release some of those measures before a vaccine is available if we can get the number of new cases right down,’ he said.

‘If we succeed in doing that we will be able to take clinical advice on whether it is safe for those who are shielded to, for instance, hug their grandchildren. That is right at the front of my mind.’

 The Government has not seen any evidence to suggest that Covid-19 was a man-made coronavirus, Mr Hancock added.

Asked by a viewer whether it was more than a ‘coincidence’ that there were two laboratories researching coronavirus in Wuhan before the breakout, the Cabinet minister said: ‘Well, we have looked into this but we don’t have any evidence.

‘There isn’t evidence that this is a man-made coronavirus.

‘I understand what John (the viewer) is getting at but we haven’t seen any evidence of that link.’

Mr Hancock, asked about why the Trump administration in the US had pushed the theory, said: ‘The president phrased his comments very carefully.

‘We haven’t seen any evidence of a link and so there is nothing I have seen that confirms the discussion, the allegation that John is referring to that I know some people are talking about.’

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