Expert slams UK’s response to coronavirus claiming poorer countries managed it better
- Credit: Archant
A Scottish public health expert has questioned why poorer countries have managed the coronavirus outbreak better than some of the richest - countries like the UK and the USA.
Holyrood health advisor Devi Sridhar told LBC's James O'Brien that despite having smaller healthcare budgets, countries like Senegal and Vietnam had managed to contain the spread of Covid-19 better than rich ones.
'The UK is one of the richest countries in the world and if we look at the countries that have built the capacity, these are countries like Senegal, Vietnam, Rowanda,' she said.
You may also want to watch:
'I think the big lesson, if you look cross-country is political will and a clear strategy from the start.'
- 1 These are the 322 Tory MPs who voted against extending free school meals to children
- 2 Priti Patel set to hand private firms £28 million in government contracts to deport asylum seekers from UK
- 3 Betty Boothroyd delivers scathing assessment of Boris Johnson's government
- 4 Michael Gove's Brexit fantasy is leading us down a perilous path
- 5 Boris Johnson 'plans to resign' in six months because he can't live on £150k salary
- 6 WILL SELF: Two places where everyone knows your name
- 7 German MEP tells Boris Johnson he 'owes' Britons a Brexit deal as she urged a return to EU trade talks
- 8 Question Time: Ex-Tory minister accused of making 'sickening' comment about free schools meals row
- 9 At the upcoming US election, Donald Trump really is toast
- 10 Priti Patel bullying inquiry may never be released, hints Boris Johnson's new civil service boss
Sridhar claimed governments that were 'consumed with evidence' about the virus rather than responding to it quickly let it spread while slamming the UK government over it decision to stop community testing in March.
'In a sense,' she said, 'you have to move before you have exact evidence but if you're consumed with evidence and running around in circles about it then the outbreak moves on and the virus spreads, often in a worse position.'
Claiming it was a 'nightmare' watching the virus spread globally, she said it was also a surprise to see the UK and USA struggle to cope with the outbreak.
She said: 'What was unpredictable were the two countries that would struggle would be the UK and the US, given these are the two that are seen as the exemplars of preparedness.'
When O'Brien asked whether ministers were like 'headless chickens' when Covid-19 first arrived in the UK, Sridhar said that it was actually a misunderstanding of the strain and mixed government messaging that was behind the slow response.
The chair of global public health at Edinburgh University said it would be 'wrong' of any government to pursue a 'herd immunity' approach without a vaccine.
She said: 'To try herd immunity without a vaccine and without a treatment than a lot of people will die, largely elderly people and those who are vulnerable and that's a moral decision that governments need to take.
'I personally this it is very wrong.'
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.