The British corona approach early in the pandemic is one of the most serious public health failures the country has ever seen. The chance to contain the virus at an early stage has been missed, leading to unnecessary deaths. That says in a scathing parliamentary report on the corona crisis that appears today and that British media, including the BBC, are writing about.
The 150-page report, written by committees with House of Commons from all parties, states that the early approach in the United Kingdom focused on group immunity. As a result, parliamentarians have deliberately opted for a slower approach, which made the country “considerably worse” than other countries.
The first corona infections were detected in the United Kingdom on 31 January. On March 23, the UK government announced a national lockdown. Among other things, the report is highly critical of that “late” moment.
“This slow and gradual approach was not inevitable, nor was it a result of bureaucratic delay or disagreement between ministers and their advisers. This was deliberate policy, proposed by official scientific advisors and adopted by all countries in the United Kingdom,” The Guardian quotes from the report.
The authors of the report denounce that the initial approach was so disastrous when they said there was so much knowledge available in the country. They also wonder why there are no international experts involved in the UK approach and why successful measures from other countries – such as severe lockdowns such as in Asia – have not been adopted before.
The parliamentarians blame the government and scientific advisers for having a “fatalistic” attitude, which saw many policies as unfeasible. Ministers would have blindly followed scientific advice. It was only when it became clear that the British healthcare system would be overwhelmed by the high number of hospitalizations would the idea that it was “impossible” to suppress the virus.
According to the House of Commons, initial testing and source and contact research were “slow, uncertain and often chaotic” and “ultimately, the goal of preventing future lockdowns has not been met”. The document further calls the pandemic the “greatest peacetime challenge of the century”.
The Conservative House of Commons and former ministers, Hunt and Clark, who led the relevant committees, acknowledge that it was “impossible to do everything right”. “The United Kingdom has combined some major achievements with some major mistakes and it‘s important to learn from both.”
‘Effective Vaccination Campaign ‘
The report is particularly positive about the UK vaccination campaign. The vaccination programme has been named one of the most effective initiatives in history and stresses that it will ultimately save millions of lives in the UK and worldwide.
The report has heard about fifty people involved in the UK corona approach. The people who testified to the parliamentary committees included former health minister Hancock and Prime Minister Johnson’s rolled former advisor Cummings. The latter has previously called the British corona approach “disastrous”.