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Inquiry finds UK’s Covid failings among worst in history

Tory MPs Jeremy Hunt and Greg Clark, who chair the committees, said the nature of the pandemic meant it was “impossible to get everything right”…reports Asian Lite News.

The UK’s failure in early handling in the Covid-19 pandemic was one of the worst ever public health failures, a landmark inquiry has found.

The government approach – backed by its scientists – was to try to manage the situation and in effect achieve herd immunity by infection, the report by MPs said, the BBC reported.

This led to a delay in introducing the first lockdown, costing lives. But the report by a cross-party group said there had been successes too – in particular the vaccination programme.

It described the whole approach – from the research and development through to the rollout of the jabs – as “one of the most effective initiatives in UK history”.

According to BBC, the findings are detailed in the long-awaited report from the Health and Social Care Committee and the Science and Technology Committee, which contain MPs from all parties.

Across 150 pages, the committees cover a variety of successes and failings over the course of the pandemic, which has claimed more than 150,000 lives to date and is described by the MPs as the “biggest peacetime challenge” for a century.

Tory MPs Jeremy Hunt and Greg Clark, who chair the committees, said the nature of the pandemic meant it was “impossible to get everything right”.

“The UK has combined some big achievements with some big mistakes. It is vital to learn from both,” they added in a statement to accompany the report.

A government spokesperson said lessons would be learned, which was why there would be a full public inquiry next year.

“We have never shied away from taking quick and decisive action to save lives and protect our NHS, including introducing restrictions and lockdowns,” BBC quoted the spokesperson as saying. “Thanks to a collective national effort, we avoided NHS services becoming overwhelmed.”

Meanwhile, another 40,224 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 8,193,769, according to official figures released Monday.

The country also recorded another 28 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 137,763. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.

There are currently 6,728 patients in hospital with COVID-19 in Britain.

The data came as British Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi and Health Secretary Sajid Javid have jointly written to parents of secondary school and college students, urging them to ensure their children are testing regularly and encouraging them to get vaccinated against coronavirus.

Official estimates showed that around 270,000 secondary pupils had COVID-19 in the week to Oct. 2.

Meanwhile, new data showed that England’s rate of new COVID cases has climbed to its highest level since the summer this year.

A total of 201,660 cases were recorded in the seven days to Oct. 7, the equivalent of 356.6 cases per 100,000 people.

This is the highest figure since July 24, when the seven-day rate stood at 375.1, according to analysis by the PA news agency.

More than 85 percent of people aged 12 and over in Britain have had their first dose of vaccine and more than 78 percent have received both doses, the latest figures showed. (ANI/Xinhua)

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