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Jeff Gilbert/ Alamy
Woman mask covid Jeff Gilbert  Alamy Stock Photo.jpg
Jeff Gilbert/ Alamy
World News

Christian MP says Govt needs to 'have faith in the public' following Covid report

by Heather Preston

A Christian MP has warned the UK Government to learn from its failures in response to the Covid pandemic and trust the British public to comply in times of crisis.

It comes after a damning report by MPs said the UK's early response to coronavirus was one of the most significant public health failures the country had ever experienced.

A cross-party committee of MPs claims government mistakes and delays in bringing in the first lockdown cost thousands of lives as opportunities to reduce the spread of the virus were lost.

Christian SNP MP Carol Monaghan tells Premier a lack of trust in the public was partly to blame:

"There was an assumption that the British public would not put up with a lockdown for more than a couple of weeks. And that did lead to some of the issues we had.

"We need to have faith in the ability of the public to follow the guidelines that are given because certainly initially when we went into lockdown the public was extremely compliant and very keen to make sure they were doing what was said."

The report also criticised the government's pandemic planning for having focused too heavily on a flu model rather than learning from other viruses - a view Monaghan supports.

"The Government should have been looking at what was happening, particularly in countries that had dealt with viruses such as SARS.

"If we had looked to East Asia, we would have seen a much more serious approach to Covid when it first appeared," she said.

Monaghan suggests that although some preparations were made to tackle the pandemic in the early stages, there should have been a greater focus on testing and a broader range of experts advising the government throughout the crisis.

Professor Keith Brown, Chair of the Adult Safeguarding Network says that although there are certainly lessons to be learnt from the handling of the pandemic, it was the success of the vaccine that had the most significant impact. 

"One of the things looking back that we can be most grateful for is not whether we should have locked down a week or two sooner but the development of the vaccine. 

"It would have been countless, countless deaths - the likes of which we can't even imagine. 

"Vaccines are the things that have come along and saved us all."

Following the report, cabinet minister Stephen Barclay turned down eleven chances to apologise for the government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic while Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has called on the Prime Minister to respond.

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