UK's pandemic response killed thousands

Kashmir Times. Dated: 10/14/2021 8:19:57 PM

NEW DELHI, Oct 13: Britain’s initial response to Covid-19 “ranks as one of the most important public health failures the United Kingdom has ever experienced,” a parliamentary inquiry published Tuesday found, blaming the British government for “many thousands of deaths which could have been avoided.”

In effect, the report scooped by The New York Times indicated, the government pursued an ill-conceived strategy of herd immunity when it failed to carry out widespread testing and delayed imposing lockdowns or border rules in the early months of the pandemic.

Officials’ assumption that British people would not accept lockdowns or contact tracing was “one of the critical things that was completely wrong,” said Dominic Cummings, a former chief adviser. It was only in late March 2020, with infections doubling every three days and the health system at risk of being overwhelmed, that Johnson ordered a nationwide lockdown.

Data: Britain has experienced one of the worst Covid-19 outbreaks among wealthy nations, with 162,000 deaths officially attributed to the disease. The report did praise the government’s vaccine strategy; 78.6 per cent of people aged 12 and over have now received two doses.

Bigger picture: The findings do not require the government to act, but could help shape the public debate ahead of a full public inquiry into the pandemic response promised by Johnson in 2022.



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