Why Britain will struggle to recover from its botched coronavirus response

Edited By: Gravitas desk WION
London, United Kingdom Updated: Dec 29, 2020, 11:02 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in Britain (file photo) Photograph:( Agencies )

Story highlights

The UK government as a whole made poor decisions and failed in its preparation, its diagnosis, and its treatment of the coronavirus pandemic

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said a variant of the coronavirus, which could be up to 70 per cent more transmissible, is spreading rapidly in Britain.

The UK is desperately trying to turn the tide against a resurgence of the virus that has forced the government to introduce a tougher system of regional restrictions that will last until the end of March.

Britain reported 41,385 new COVID cases on Monday, the highest number since testing became widely available in the middle of 2020, and hospitals have more COVID patients than during the first wave of the pandemic in April.

Although PM Johnson stuck closely to a strategy designed and endorsed by the government’s experts, leaders in their fields, and respected internationally the country’s issues run far deeper.

Britain’s leaders asked their people to do three things, captured in one pithy slogan: “Stay home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson ''let the virus move through the public'' so that people could acquire herd community. However, the strategy ended up being a massive failure.

The UK government as a whole made poor decisions and failed in its preparation, its diagnosis, and its treatment of the coronavirus pandemic.

Britain must vaccinate two million people a week to avoid a third wave of the coronavirus outbreak, a study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has concluded.

The British government has said it has secured early access to 357 million vaccines doses through agreements with several developers.

Media reports over the weekend said Britain will roll out the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from Jan. 4, with approval by the country's medical regulator expected within days.

Earlier this month, Britain became the first country in the world to roll out the vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech.

The British government said on Thursday that 600,000 people had received the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Britain introduced a new level of tighter restrictions in parts of England on Dec. 19, shutting down non-essential retail and mostly banning people from meeting in person, because of a new variant of COVID that infected people more easily.

A week later it extended the restrictions to a larger area, covering almost half of England's population. But the government has so far resisted reimposing a new nationwide lockdown.

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