Britain’s late lockdown “cost lives”, says leading scientist

Professor John Edmunds

The Government should have moved quicker to impose a coronavirus lockdown, claims a scientific adviser.

Not doing so cost lives, said Professor John Edmunds.

Prof Edmunds, who sits on the Government’s scientific advisory group for emergencies (SAGE), added the initial data and awareness of Covid-19 was “really quite poor”.

Prof Edmunds, an infectious diseases expert from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told the Andrew Marr Show:

“We should have gone into lockdown earlier.

“I think it would have been hard to do it.

“I think the data that we were dealing with in the early part of March and our situational awareness was really quite poor.

“And so, I think it would have been very hard to pull the trigger at that point.

“But I wish we had.

“I wish we had gone into lockdown earlier.

“I think that has cost a lot of lives unfortunately.”

Asked about Prof Edmunds’ comments, Health Secretary Matthew Hancock told Marr:

“I think we took the right decisions at the right time.

“And there’s a broad range on SAGE of scientific opinion.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce this week further steps to ease the lockdown.

Britain has one of the worst Covid-19 death records in the world.


About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.

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