The NHS could have prevented “chaos and panic” had the system not been left wholly unprepared for the pandemic, the editor of the BMJ has said.
Numerous warnings were issued but these were not heeded, Richard Horton wrote in the Lancet. He cited an example from his journal on 20 January, pointing to a global epidemic: “Preparedness plans should be readied for deployment at short notice, including securing supply chains of pharmaceuticals, personal protective equipment, hospital supplies and the necessary human resources to deal with the consequences of a global outbreak of this magnitude.”
Horton wrote that the government’s Contain-Delay-Mitigate-Research plan had 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. The result has been chaos and panic across the NHS.”
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Source: Guardian, 28 March 2020