Opinion: Too little too late in UK Government’s efforts to protect people from covid-19

It was during the first of the rather tedious televised government briefings which are now a staple of our daily routines where Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak told the British people the fiscal packages they were instilling to see the country through the coronavirus pandemic were the most generous, caring and unprecedented means of government support in the history of all governances.

-Sunday Times maps out key events in run-up to lockdown. Timeline here
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Throughout this pandemic the UK government has tried to give the impression the establishment is ahead of the crisis, but, in light of the Sunday Times report laying out the events of the first three months of the year, and taking into account how other countries are responding to the virus, it becomes clear Johnson and his team were never ahead of the pandemic. They were maybe as much as 8 weeks behind. In this dithering the country and its people have been forced to remain at home in order to try save a massively underprepared NHS.

“Johnson looked to have somehow spun a gargantuanly disastrous situation the proportions of which would have had Malcolm Tucker weeping faced with the task of trying to shed positive light on the government’s handling of the pandemic.”

It’s not an easy call to shut down any economy let alone the sixth largest economy in the world, so perhaps it was wise that the decision was taken with what seemed to be a dose of heavy thought. Johnson looked to have somehow spun a gargantuanly disastrous situation the proportions of which would have had Malcolm Tucker weeping faced with the task of trying to shed positive light on the government’s handling of the pandemic. When Johnson was taken ill with covid symptoms some people were calling for ‘claps for the prime minister’ as well as our carers every Thursday.

The Sunday Times has revealed Johnson, Hancock and co are no carers but incompetents who seem to be making catch up measures everyday – such as the sudden and unattainable target to test 100,000 people daily by the end of this month – when the virus had probably embedded itself into the population as far back as February.

Sunday Times report marking the government’s slow response to the coronavirus pandemic

Best case scenario

South Korea recorded their first case on January 20th and began raising the ban on social gatherings on the 19th of April. This is a country that has been one of the best performers in combating the coronavirus with just over 10,000 cases in a population of 51million people. The UK? Heading the wrong side of 100,000 cases in a population of 66million.

Three month best case scenario. That’s if we rigorously test, track, trace and drive this killer virus out of the UK. But with the politicians currently trying to play catch up in what seems to be a sickeningly lucrative international PPE market almost three months after the first case of covid-19 was reported on our shores, the UK’s wait to leave lockdown could be far longer than South Koreas’. And as with any disaster that hits a country, it is always the hardest working, the self-employed, the SME owners who will bare the brunt as their customers and colleagues are ordered to remain inside.

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