12 October 2021 - An inquiry calls Britain’s early pandemic response a ‘public health failure.’
Covid: UK's early response worst public health failure ever, MPs say
Nick Triggle (BBC, 12/10/2021)
The UK's failure to do more to stop Covid spreading early in the pandemic was one of the worst ever public health failures, a report by MPs says.
The government approach - backed by its scientists - was to try to manage the situation and in effect achieve herd immunity by infection, it said.
This led to a delay in introducing the first lockdown, costing thousands of lives.
Covid Report: UK's Delayed Lockdown Was A Huge 'Health Failure', Damning Study Says
Graeme Demianyk (The Huffington Post, 12/10/2021)
The UK government’s decision to delay a first lockdown was a “serious error” and part of one of the “biggest health failures the UK has ever experienced”, according to a devastating report on Covid from MPs.
Their study criticised ministers – and even scientific advisers – for waiting too long to adopt comprehensive stay-at-home measures in early 2020, despite the practice being adopted elsewhere in the world.
COVID-19: Minister refuses to apologise for government's pandemic handling as report says errors 'cost thousands of lives'
Alan McGuinness (Sky News, 12/10/2021)
A minister has refused to apologise 11 times for the government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, after a highly-critical report by MPs said thousands of lives were lost due to delays and mistakes by both ministers and their scientific advisers.
"We followed, throughout, the scientific advice. We got the vaccine deployed extremely quickly, we protected our NHS from the surge of cases," Cabinet Office minister Stephen Barclay told Sky News' Kay Burley when she asked if the government would apologise.
The true costs of Britain’s mishandling of Covid are now plain to see
Devi Sridhar (The Guardian, 12/10/2021)
In spring last year it was clear to those of us who work in global public health that the British government had taken the worst path for handling Covid-19. Ministers had allowed the virus to spread throughout the country without building any kind of surveillance system to detect cases or protecting health workers with adequate PPE. As a result of these decisions, the government then forced the country into a long, harsh lockdown in an attempt to reduce the pressure on the NHS and keep hospital admissions under control.
In April 2020 I tweeted: “At what point will the British public realise what has happened over the past 9 weeks?” At the time, I wondered whether the true costs of the government’s decisions would ever be fully reckoned with. Today, the first official report into the government’s handling of the crisis has laid bare these costs. Many of its findings, which draw on days of testimony from witnesses to the health and social care committee and science and technology committee, have long been clear to those of us working in public health. From March 2020, we were trying to make sense of daily policy decisions and press briefings that seemed to be hurtling towards catastrophe.