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During his statement in the House of Lords earlier Lord Bethell, the health minister, said that the “decisions that people make” helped to explain why people in poor areas were more likely to die from coronavirus than people in wealthy areas.
He was responding to a question from the former Labour cabinet minister Lord Reid, who asked about an ONS report published last Friday saying that in England the mortality rate for deaths involving coronavirus in the most deprived areas (139.6 deaths per 100,000) was more than double what it was in the least deprived areas (63.4 deaths per 100,000 population).
[Read] is entirely right that those who are least advantaged in society are hardest hit by this disease, and by lots of other diseases.
And there are behavioural reasons for that, the decisions that people make about social distancing, about their own health decisions, and there are environmental reasons, about living conditions and the places in which they live, neither of which detract from the fact that this is a very sad and upsetting truth.
Track and trace on its own, with or without an app, is not enough to prevent a second wave. The only thing that can do that are the behaviours of the British people themselves, and a commitment to hygiene, distancing and isolation are the best [protections] we have against this horrible disease.
Within individual countries there is no way for us to control intra-country transport. It is therefore very difficult and challenging to have a regional exemption list. That is why we have not been able to to give exemptions to the Balearics. And I say this with a personal interest in the matter.