A cabinet minister has apologized for the government’s failure, which resulted in thousands of preventable deaths from Covid-19 in the first wave of the pandemic.
Conservative Party co-chair Oliver Dowden said he was “sorry” and that ministers “would do some things differently in retrospect”.
Comments from Mr. Dowden Sky news‘Kay Burley, follow up on his cabinet colleague Stephen Barclay’s refusal to apologize to the same interviewer on Tuesday.
A scathing report by MPs found that the government’s original approach was focused on herd immunity, resulting in a delay in the implementation of the first lockdown, which may have cost thousands of 20,000 lives or more.
The 150-page document, titled “Coronavirus: Lessons learned so far,” also acknowledges the failure to put in place a functioning testing and tracing system, the government’s lack of priority for social care, and the disproportionately high death rates for ethnic minorities and people with learning effects Disabilities.
Charged to apologize for the results, Mr Barclay said, “Well, no, we took scientific advice, we protected the NHS, we made decisions based on the evidence we had.”
However, on Wednesday, Mr Dowden said: “I welcome this report. It’s a very good report from Greg Clark and Jeremy Hunt. The government, as we do with all these reports, will fully analyze them and give a full response to the recommendations. “
He added, “We are sorry for the losses that all these families have suffered.”
Jo Goodman, Co-Founder of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, said: “This is the first time the government has publicly apologized to us for the loss of our loved ones and recognition of their responsibility is welcome.
“However, yesterday’s report only scratches the surface of what this country has been through for the past two years. It is clear that only through a full legal investigation can we learn the lessons we need to save lives in the future and answer the questions that will help close bereaved families. “
Ms. Goodman lost her father, Stuart, in March 2020, believing an earlier lockdown might have kept her father less exposed to the virus. Since then she has campaigned for justice for the bereaved.