UK's COVID response 'public health failure': British MPs

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Oct 12, 2021, 12:40 PM(IST)

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The British MPs opined that government's pandemic planning was too focussed on flu. They also slammed UK PM Boris Johnson-led government for not imposing social restrictions earlier 

A group of British MPs on Tuesday slammed UK PM Boris Johnson led government's response to COVID pandemic as 'public health failure'. In a parliamentary report, the MPs said that delay in imposing lockdown was  "one of the most important public health failures" in the country's history.

The MPs found government's pandemic planning as having been too focussed on flu. They said that the government failed to learn lessons from Sars, Mers and Ebola outbreaks.

The study, published by two parliamentary watchdog committees after months of hearings, comes ahead of an independent public inquiry into the government's coronavirus handling due to begin next year.

Britain has been hit hard by the crisis, with nearly 138,000 Covid-19 deaths since March last year, raising questions about why it has fared worse than other nations.

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MPs on two parliamentary committees said the government had waited too long to push through lockdown measures in early 2020.

Leading advisors had pushed a "deliberate policy" to take a "gradual and incremental approach" to interventions such as social distancing, isolation and lockdowns, said the report.

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That approach had been proved "wrong" and cost lives, they noted.

"Decisions on lockdowns and social distancing during the early weeks of the pandemic -- and the advice that led to them -- rank as one of the most important public health failures the United Kingdom has ever experienced," they wrote.

There was a "policy approach of fatalism about the prospects for Covid in the community", which contributed to the failures.

(With inputs from agencies)

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