Tag Archives: department of health and social care

Covid: two years on the Government has abandoned any form of public health strategy

In March 2020, just before the first lockdown, I penned a piece for Lib Dem Voice on the Government being behind the curve in implementing Covid restrictions. Last year in March 2021, I wrote a follow-up article saying we weren’t out of the woods. Now another year on, where are we?

The Office for National Statistics estimated in the week ending 12 March that around 3.3 million people in the UK had COVID-19. Of course, sadly, this increase in cases is now leading to increased hospitalisations and deaths. According to official statistics, There were 13,844 people admitted to hospital with Covid in the week to 19 March and there were 877 deaths in the 7 days to 23 March (up 133 on the previous week).

The fact that Covid patients are now filling up more beds in hospital again means that non-urgent treatment and operations are more likely to be cancelled – compounded by the fact that NHS hospitals are facing critical under-staffing, both because of existing staff shortages and because more NHS staff are now themselves off sick with Covid.

Many health experts are deeply concerned about all this. Where is the plan? Almost all restrictions have now been lifted, certainly in England, and people can no longer protect themselves in public spaces such as on trains and in shops as mask wearing has fallen off sharply. For people who are clinically vulnerable – maybe because they have an immunological disorder or because they on medication that lowers their immunity – this is quite a frightening prospect. The fact that the Government is now introducing fourth Covid jabs for people aged over 75 or those who are clinically vulnerable is very welcome, but otherwise letting Covid rip through the population seems irresponsible, especially as there is evidence that more people are becoming reinfected with the newer Omicron variant. The herd immunity argument never worked.

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