Why UK Government must up its game in tackling coronavirus – Angus Robertson

Experts say the UK needs to learn from Germany’s response to preventing people from getting Covid-19, says Angus Robertson.

By Angus Robertson
Monday, 13th April 2020, 4:45 pm
Boris Johnson is back in Downing Street (Picture: Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/AFP via Getty Images)

I am delighted that Boris Johnson is out of hospital and recuperating, just as I am heartened by the online scenes of patients being applauded by nurses and doctors as they are discharged. Covid-19 doesn’t discriminate between the victims it infects. No one deserves to get such a terrible bug.

Hard to believe however, that we’re now at the stage of refrigerated trucks being necessary as temporary morgues and body bags becoming a scarce resource. It is truly shocking.

As we enter the fourth week of lockdown and the inevitable extension, it is worth taking stock that the UK has the highest daily death toll of any country in Europe.

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While Health Secretary Matt Hancock is right to characterise the 10,000 total deaths as sombre, we are now confronted by the fact that the UK could end up with the worst coronavirus death rate in Europe.

Professor Jeremy Farrar, who is a pandemics expert on the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, who confirmed the scale of the tragedy, says that we have to learn from Germany, which “very early on introduced testing on a scale that was remarkable and continued to do that and isolate individuals and look after those who got very sick”.

Meanwhile, the UK Government admits that only 1.4 per cent of businesses which have sought support through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme have been successful. To be exact; of the estimated 300,000 companies that have asked for help, only 4,200 have received rescue loans.

Just as other countries are taking early steps to emerge from the worst of the pandemic, things are still getting worse here. All the more reason to follow the safety advice and hope the UK Government ups its game.