Handling the first phase of the coronavirus pandemic was ‘one of the worst public health failures in UK history’, as ministers and scientists took a ‘fatalistic’ approach that aggravated the death toll. over 150,000 since the end of January 2020. The British government’s approach, supported by its scientists, has been to achieve herd immunity through infection, delaying the introduction of a lockdown that could have saved several lives. This is what emerges from the 115 pages of the report entitled ‘Coronavirus: the lessons learned to date’, drawn up by the Committee for Health and Social Care and by the Committee for Science and Technology, where it is emphasized that the approach is deliberately ” slow and gradual “the pandemic emergency has meant that the United Kingdom has fared” much worse “than other countries. A positive note, however, comes from the vaccination program. The path started with research and led to the production of an anti Covid-19 vaccine is described as “one of the most effective initiatives in the history of the United Kingdom”.
The two Conservative MPs who drafted the report, Jeremy Hunt and Greg Clark, agree that “the UK has achieved some great results with some big mistakes. It is vital to learn from both.” A British government spokesman, quoted by the BBC, replied that “we have never shied away from taking swift and decisive action to save lives and protect our NHS, including the introduction of restrictions and lockdowns. Thanks to a nationwide effort. collectively, we have prevented the services of the national health system from being overwhelmed “. But the attempt to achieve herd immunity, recommended by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) and supported by the government, demonstrates ” a shared approach ”.
In the first weeks of the pandemic, therefore, too little was done in Britain to stop the spread of Covid-19, despite evidence from China and then Italy that it was a highly infectious virus, causing serious and which there was no cure. “This approach has ensured that potentially super-diffusing events, such as the football match between Liverpool Fc and Atletico Madrid, which brought together over 50,000 people on March 11, the day the coronavirus was classified as a pandemic by the WHO, continued. . And the Cheltenham Festival of Racing between 10 and 13 March, which attracted more than 250,000 people, “the report said.
Criticisms are also leveled against the “ slow, uncertain and often chaotic ” approach of the Covid-19 test and tracking system, despite Britain being one of the first countries in the world to develop the test in January 2020. At the same time, however, the report praises Secretary of Health Matt Hancock’s goal of reaching 100,000 tests per day by the end of April, saying this has played an important role. The biggest praise, however, has been given to the vaccination program and the way the government has supported the development of a number of vaccines, including the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The entire vaccination program has been one of the most effective initiatives in history and will ultimately help save millions of lives in Britain and around the world, the report said.