Writing on the Wall? The UK and the Early Warning Signs of COVID-19   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Summary: "COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] is the greatest challenge to global human security in the past 50 years. Before the outbreak the UK government claimed to be world-leading in pandemic preparedness but is likely to end up being the worst affected state in Western Europe. This analysis seeks to explain why this is so. It examines the national biosecurity strategy published two years ago and the pre-pandemic claim of the UK government that it was a world leader in the field and then compares that with evidence that the strategy was not followed, leaving the country poorly prepared for the outbreak. The piece then discusses what information was available to the UK government during the early days of the outbreak and assesses whether it acted accordingly, based on the evidence available. It then explores the rapid and effective responses made by some countries at the start of the year when the UK government was inactive on the issue. The analysis concludes by arguing that there were serious political issues that militated against early action, setting the scene for a persistent failure to learn lessons from the experience of others and from the failure to implement its own strategy."

Oxford Research Group
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