‘UK’s slow virus lockdown cost thousands of lives’


LONDON: Britain’s initial response to the Covid-19 pandemic “ranks as one of the most significant public health failures the UK has ever experienced,” according to a parliamentary inquiry, which blames the British government for “many thousands. deaths that could have been prevented. ” . “The government, in effect, pursued an ill-conceived strategy of herd immunity when it failed to conduct widespread testing and delayed the imposition of closures, social distancing or border controls in the first months of the pandemic, according to a report Tuesday from two parliamentary committees.
After initial setbacks, Britain came forward in the spring as one of the world leaders in vaccination rates; 78.6% of people 12 years of age or older have already received two doses of the Covid vaccine. But the report, the first major investigation into Britain’s pandemic response, cited numerous government missteps since the first coronavirus cases were detected in Britain in January 2020.
That early response, a product of “groupthink” among senior PM officials. Boris johnsonThe government and its scientific advisers did not consider or act on aggressive containment, testing and tracing strategies, according to the report. It was only in late March 2020, with infections doubling every three days and the national health system at risk of being overwhelmed, that Johnson reverse course and ordered a complete lockdown. “The loss of that time proved fatal to many,” the report concluded.
The investigation found that the government’s decision not to order a shutdown or conduct extensive contact tracing was due in part to the assumption by scientific advisers that the British public would not accept such restrictions. That belief was based on limited evidence and turned out to be false, as people generally complied with blocking measures, according to the report. Britain has experienced one of the worst Covid outbreaks among wealthy nations, with more than 137,000 people having died from Covid.
The research praised certain aspects of Britain’s handling of the pandemic, in particular its initial investment in vaccine research, including support for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine that has become one of the most administered in the world. The government’s decision to space the interval between vaccine doses to allow as many people as possible to receive a single injection was “decisive and courageous” and “significantly improved the pace of protection for the UK population,” he said. The report. The report’s findings do not require the government to act, but could help shape public debate ahead of a full public inquiry into the response to the pandemic promised by Johnson in 2022.

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