Government ministers are facing criticism on Sunday following reports that Health Secretary Matt Hancock is looking to scrap Public Health England (PHE) and replace it with a new pandemic response agency.
Opposition MPs have accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson of attempting to "shift the blame" due to "ministerial failures" in response to the pandemic.
Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said that responsibility for the handling of the coronavirus pandemic in Britain should remain with the government.
"PHE could have been better prepared if the Tories hadn't spent years cutting public health budgets and then outsourcing much of the testing and tracing response to this pandemic".
"And where does this leave other important health prevention priorities, for example on sexual health services, drug and alcohol services and obesity, that PHE carries out?"
The reported move follows repeated reports over recent months that ministers have been unhappy and frustrated with PHE's response to the coronavirus crisis.
The institute's new chief executive will report both to ministers at the Department of Health and Social Care and to Professor Chris Whitty, England's Chief Medical Officer, giving the government direct control over its response to pandemics.
The newspaper added that the change will be "effective" within the next month but it will take until the spring to formally complete the organisational change.
The organisation's objective will be to tackle pandemics specifically, with the body's new chief executive reporting directly to the Health Secretary and England's Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty, giving ministers direct control over the response.
According to the Department of Health and Social Care, the number of confirmed United Kingdom cases has hit 317,379, while the total number of deaths is 41,361, the Telegraph reported.
The government recently had to adopt a new way of counting daily deaths from COVID-19 after concerns were raised that the method used by PHE officials overstated them.