'One of the most important public health failures the United Kingdom has ever experienced'

Britain’s failure to impose a lockdown in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic cost thousands of unnecessary deaths and ranks among the country’s worst public health blunders, lawmakers concluded Tuesday in the nation’s first comprehensive report on the pandemic, the Associated Press reports.

The deadly delay derived from the failure of British government ministers to question the recommendations of scientific advisers, resulting in a dangerous level of “groupthink” that caused them to dismiss the more aggressive strategies adopted in East and Southeast Asia to limit infections, the report said.

It was only when Britain’s National Health Service risked being overwhelmed by rapidly rising infections that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government finally ordered a lockdown. in late March 2020.

“Decisions on lockdowns and social distancing during the early weeks of the pandemic – and the advice that led to them – rank as one of the most important public health failures the United Kingdom has ever experienced,″ states the joint report from the House of Commons’ science and health committees. “Painful though it is, the U.K. must learn what lessons it can of why this happened if we are to ensure it is not repeated.″

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