Richard Horton, the editor-in-chief of The Lancet medical journal on Saturday slammed the UK government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying it had “failed.”
“The UK Government’s Contain–Delay–Mitigate–Research strategy failed. It failed, in part, because ministers didn’t follow WHO’s advice to “test, test, test” every suspected case. They didn’t isolate and quarantine. They didn’t contact trace. These basic principles of public health and infectious disease control were ignored, for reasons that remain opaque,” Horton wrote in an article published to the medical journal on Saturday.
“The UK now has a new plan—Suppress–Shield–Treat–Palliate. But this plan, agreed far too late in the course of the outbreak, has left the NHS wholly unprepared for the surge of severely and critically ill patients that will soon come,” he added.
An increase in cases: British health authorities announced another 181 fatalities on Friday, bringing the death toll to 759. More than 14,500 infections have been recorded, but as the UK is not testing widely, true infection numbers are likely to be much higher.
How is the UK handling the outbreak? The British government, criticized for its less aggressive start in responding to the pandemic, has been attempting new measures to flatten the curve of new Covid-19 infections after a high-profile study found that coronavirus could overwhelm the number of intensive care beds and lead to 250,000 deaths in the UK.
Officials infected: The UK’s response to the coronavirus pandemic was upended on Friday when the Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his top health minister tested positive for the infection, and his chief medical adviser self-isolated after displaying symptoms.