Boris Johnson’s government committed “one of the most important public health failures” in UK history during the early part of the pandemic, noted a report by Parliament’s health and science committees published on 12 October. The study concluded that authorities took too long to impose isolation, leading to thousands of unnecessary deaths from Covid-19.
As “the greatest public health failure” a report by the British Parliament describes the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic by the Government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
After months of hearings, the British Legislative Health and Science Committees published a 150-page report on October 12 in which they point out that the Government waited too long to impose isolation, so it lost the opportunity to contain the spread of the virus. .
“Serious” mistakes that resulted in thousands of unnecessary deaths, the document states.
“There was a desire to avoid a blockade due to the immense damage it would do to the economy, normal health services and society (…) The decisions on quarantines and social distancing during the first weeks of the pandemic, and the advice that led them , rank as one of the most significant public health failures the UK has ever experienced, “the report states.
‘One of the worst public health failures ever’
– the first official report into the UK’s covid response confirms our Government was as shocking, incompetent & shameful as some of us said it was at the time (to howls of abuse).
Who will be accountable for this deadly fiasco? pic.twitter.com/mH950KIxmM
– Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) October 12, 2021
Likewise, the investigators highlighted that the authorities simultaneously committed other key failures in the consequences faced by the country. Among them, the rigorous isolation of people who contracted the virus, a significant operation to carry out diagnostic tests, track cases and implement strict border controls. “A total closure was inevitable and should have happened sooner,” say the parliamentarians.
The United Kingdom has been one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic, registering around 138,000 deaths from the virus so far. Currently, it is the eighth highest death toll in the world, but in 2020 the country became one of the major epicenters of the health crisis both in Europe and in the rest of the planet.
Although the death toll has dropped, the problem still appears to be far from disappearing. On Monday, the nation reported 40,224 new cases in a single day, the highest number in the past five weeks.
“One of the most significant public health failures” in UK history
Both parliamentary committees made up of several political parties explain that the Johnson Administration was slow to take the necessary measures because it did not follow the recommendations of the scientific advisers, which resulted in a dangerous level that led to discard the more aggressive strategies adopted in the East and Southeast Asia.
Only after the UK’s National Health Service risked being overwhelmed by the rapid rise in infections did the Conservative government finally order the shutdown.
The Administration’s reluctance led to “one of the most important public health failures” in the country’s history, the report said, the product of hours of testimony from more than 50 witnesses, including advisers on government policy, health and science.
In addition, the report indicated that the Johnson administration was focused on handling the pandemic like a flu without taking into account previous public health lessons such as the SARS, MERS and Ebola outbreaks.
However, the researchers also highlighted the subsequent corrections that the authorities took, especially during the vaccine procurement stage to immunize the population. In 2021, the British territory became one of the nations that led the inoculation of its citizens, along with countries such as Israel.
“The UK response, with the notable exception of vaccine development and deployment, has for the most part been too reactive rather than anticipatory,” the lawmakers argued.
The report warns that, in general, the British government should learn from mistakes in managing the pandemic to avoid its recurrence and recommended a greater focus on pandemic contingency planning.
With Reuters, AP and local media