A leading public health expert has launched a devastating critique of the government’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak in the UK, saying it is too little too late, lacks transparency and fails to mobilise the public.
Prof John Ashton, a former regional director of public health for north-west England, lambasted a lack of preparation and openness from the government and contrasted Britain’s response to that of Hong Kong.
“Right at the beginning of February, they [Hong Kong] adopted a total approach to this, which is what we should have done five weeks ago ourselves. They took a decision to work to three principles – of responding promptly, staying alert, working in an open and transparent manner,” he told the Guardian.
“Our lot haven’t been working openly and transparently. They’ve been doing it in a (non) smoke-filled room and just dribbling out stuff. The chief medical officer only appeared in public after about two weeks. Then they have had a succession of people bobbing up and disappearing. Public Health England’s been almost invisible."
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Source: The Guardian, 12 March 2020