The record number of coronavirus deaths in the United Kingdom are a ‘direct result’ of the government allowing families to mix over Christmas, says public health expert.
The Chair of Global Public Health at Edinburgh University, Professor Devi Sridhar, appeared on Good Morning Britain today to discuss why the figures across the country are so high.
Host Piers Morgan asked Prof Sridhar – which you can watch in the video above – if she thinks we are now seeing record coronavirus deaths in the UK as a ‘direct result’ of the government allowing people to mix with another household over the festive period.
“Yes definitely,” Prof Sridhar replied.
“We know that the virus spreads when people mix and we know that people were permitted to mix over Christmas.
“The difficulty for the public is that you can’t really blame people because if the government says it is safe to mix, they will go and mix – people trust that.
“It’s like turning on the water in your home and drinking the tap water. If someone says your water is safe you’re going to drink it because you trust the standards and regulations.
Prof Sridhar went on to address the record number of coronavirus deaths reported in the UK over recent days which saw 1,110 Covid-19 fatalities announced on January 12 – the highest number of deaths on a single day surpassing the previous peak of 1,073 in April last year.
“It’s tragic. It’s hard to get your head around this level of death,” she said.
“It’s like four jumbo jets flying out of the sky, it’s 70% more than the Manchester bombings. This is a huge number of people that have lost their lives.”
Piers then asked Prof Sridhar if she believes that Boris should have ordered the country into a national lockdown the moment the new variant of the virus was discovered and if the delay has now had “catastrophic” consequences.
“There have been a few [questionable] moments, obviously the March lockdown being delayed then in September when Sage recommended a two week circuit-breaker when numbers were starting to climb.
“Then in December releasing the national lockdown instead of extending it and then at the moment with the new variant not making that difficult decision to lockdown over Christmas and guiding the public in that way.
“But I think the larger issues is that we don’t have a comprehensive plan.”
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.