UK Government slammed for ignoring dire warnings and losing ‘five crucial weeks’ to tackle coronavirus threat

THE UK government is facing severe criticism for failing to take the coronavirus threat seriously enough and missing opportunities to implement pandemic plans.

A Sunday Times investigation claims Boris Johnson’s administration ignored dire warnings from scientists and lost “a crucial five weeks in the fight to tackle the dangerous threat of coronavirus despite being in a perilously poor state of preparation for a pandemic.”

The report says Boris skipped five Cobra meetings in January and February just as the outbreak was gathering pace and beginning to spread around the globe.

The Times quotes an unnamed senior government advisor, who slammed the Prime Minister for complacency and not carrying out “urgent crisis planning.”

“There’s no way you’re at war if your PM isn’t there,” the advisor told the newspaper.

According to the report the government made “little progress” in getting in supplies of masks and gowns in February and did not accept the British Healthcare Trades Association’s February offer to help supply personal protection equipment until the beginning of April.

The article also pointed out that the UK last staged a rehearsal for a pandemic four years ago, and said that recommendations made at the time to take action on ensuring sufficient provision of PPE and intensive care ventilators were never acted upon.

A further criticism of the government was that the focus on getting ready for a no-deal Brexit “sucked all the blood out of pandemic planning.”

A Downing Street spokesman defended the government, insisting “Our response has ensured that the NHS has been given all the support it needs to ensure everyone requiring treatment has received it, as well as providing protection to businesses and reassurance to workers.

“The prime minister has been at the helm of the response to this, providing leadership during this hugely challenging period for the whole nation.”

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Written by

Cathy Elelman

Cathy Elelman is the local writer for the Costa de Almeria edition of the Euro Weekly News.

Based in Mojacar for the last 21 years, Cathy is very much part of the local community and is always well and truly up on all the latest news and events going on in this region of Spain.

Her top goals are to do the best job she can informing the local English-speaking community, visitors to the area and the wider world about about the news in Almeria, to learn something new every day, and to embrace very new challenge this fast-changing world brings her way.

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