The latest assessment report released by the Inter-Party Subcommittee of the British Parliament believes that in the early stages of the outbreak of the new crown epidemic, the UK failed to take timely measures to prevent the spread of the new crown virus, which was one of the most serious public health errors in history.
Since the outbreak of the new crown epidemic in early 2020, the total number of people infected in the UK is about 8.2 million, and 138,000 have died due to the new crown virus.
According to the report, the measures taken by the government with the support of scientists are to try to manage the epidemic, but in fact achieve herd immunity through infection.
The 150-page report published by the Health and Social Care Committee and the Science and Technology Committee, composed of cross-party members of the British Parliament, mainly assesses the response to the new crown epidemic in England. The measures did not specifically target Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Since the population of England accounts for 80% of the total population of the United Kingdom, the epidemic prevention policy in England has the greatest impact.
The report stated that the new crown epidemic, which killed 5 million people around the world, was “the greatest difficulty encountered in peacetime” in a century.
The BBC’s Chinese inventory of this report assesses four aspects of the UK’s epidemic prevention measures:
Delay in closing the city at the beginning of the epidemic
The first case of infection in the UK was on January 31, 2020, but the lockdown measures were not announced until March 23.
The report believes that after the outbreak of the epidemic, the British government’s response strategy is to control it, “to achieve herd immunity through infection,” rather than to block the spread of the virus.
According to the report, the British government’s response is based on its previous experience in dealing with influenza, and it is a response to the recommendations of the British Emergency Health Science Advisory Group (Sage), but all government officials in the UK have not raised objections to this. Show “a certain degree of group thinking”. However, there are similar problems elsewhere in Europe.
This means that when countries in Asia and other places adopted strict border controls immediately after the spread of the new crown virus, the United Kingdom did not accept the same measures with an open mind.
As a result, in the early stages of the epidemic, although both China and Italy had evidence that the virus had a high transmission rate and caused serious illness, and there was a lack of treatment at the time, the United Kingdom had hardly taken any measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
The report concluded that Britain’s ignorance of the pandemic at the beginning of the epidemic was partly caused by itself.
When asked whether herd immunity was the government’s original policy, Jeremy Hunt, the former Minister of Health and Chairman of the Health and Social Care Commission, said that he believes that the government does not want the entire population to be infected.
British scientists changed their recommendations on March 16, and the government waited another week before announcing the closure of the city.
The report concluded that the lack of recommendations and decisions to close the city and maintain social distancing during the first few weeks of the epidemic can be described as “one of the most significant public health mistakes in British history.”
So who is responsible for this error?
Greg Clark, chairman of the British Parliamentary Technology Committee, responded that in any democratic society, politicians should be held accountable, but at that time everyone from the prime minister to below was doing their best.
In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation BBC, he said: “We did some things right and some did wrong. The key is that we don’t just pass by without trying to sum up experience and lessons, and have the courage to face some very unacceptable things. The fact.”
Virus detection and tracking system “slow and messy”
The United Kingdom developed a virus test as early as January 2020. It was one of the first countries to develop a new coronavirus test. However, in the first year after the outbreak of the new coronavirus, it did not convert this scientific research result into effective detection and tracking. System (Test and Trace).
Community testing stopped in March 2020, and only those hospitalized patients were tested during the weeks at the peak of the epidemic.
England’s healthcare system, the NHS, did not launch a detection and tracking system until May 2020, but the Parliament’s report stated that the start of the system was “slow, unclear and often chaotic”.
Successful vaccine development and promotion
The report praised the development and promotion of vaccines, including the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which was supported by the British government.
The report said that the development and promotion of the new crown vaccine is the most effective major action in history to control the epidemic, and will ultimately help save the lives of countless people in the UK and around the world.
As of October 10 this year, the United Kingdom has received 94 million doses of the new crown vaccine.
A key step taken in the early stages of the epidemic was the establishment of a research team composed of scientists, the national health system, and top talents in the private sector based on the advice of Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK’s chief scientific adviser, and venture capitalists Kate Bingham (Kate Bingham) played a “courageous leadership role.”
The report said that the United Kingdom is also committed to research on the treatment of patients with the new crown. The use of rehabilitation trials such as dexamethasone therapy is another aspect of the UK’s response to the new crown epidemic that truly leads the world.
In addition, the report also praised the medical system and the government for increasing critical care capacity in response to the epidemic, ensuring that the vast majority of patients who need to be hospitalized receive proper treatment.
The epidemic exposes inequality
The report also pointed out that the new crown epidemic has exacerbated existing social, economic and health inequalities and needs to be taken seriously to resolve them.
The report specifically emphasizes that the death rate of new crown infection among ethnic minority groups, people with learning disabilities and autism is “unacceptably high”.
There are various reasons for the high mortality rate among ethnic minorities, including possible biological causes and increased exposure risks due to housing and working conditions.
For people with learning disabilities, they have not fully considered the adverse effects of the lockdown on them.
At the beginning of the epidemic, the epidemic prevention in nursing homes for the elderly did not receive sufficient attention. The quick discharge of the elderly into a nursing home without adequate testing or isolation is a typical example of this oversight.
Coupled with the fact that untested staff brought the virus from the community into the nursing home, the situation has been worsened, and thousands of people have died, and these deaths could have been avoided.
The Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice (The Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice), an rights group composed of bereaved people in the new crown, said that many people will see this report as a “slap in the face” on them.
Hannah Brady, a spokesperson for the organization, said: “This report is a laughingstock. It is only interested in political debates and not at all about those who lost their parents, spouses and children due to the new crown virus. Feel.”