Tuesday 12 October 2021 9:12 PM UTC
LONDON Oct 12: The British government’s reluctance to impose a lockdown at the beginning of March last year as coronavirus infections escalated led to “one of the most important public health failures” in the country’s history, a parliamentary report said Tuesday.
The damning assessment from a cross-party group of UK lawmakers found government planning was too focused on the flu and had failed to learn the lessons from previous outbreaks such as SARS, MERS and Ebola.
The government’s “gradual and incremental approach” to interventions such as social distancing, isolation and lockdowns, had subsequently 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.
The study, published by two parliamentary watchdog committees after months of hearings, comes ahead of an independent public inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic, due to get underway next year.
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