EXCLUSIVE: We look at the 10 reasons why the UK is the sick man of Europe, with a disgraceful failure to protect care homes, a slowness in following World Health Organisation advice and confused messaging among the reasons why our death toll is the highest in Europe
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As devastating statistics show England has the highest level of excess deaths in Europe, questions are being asked as to how it got to this.
Analysis by the Office for National Statistics shows England had “the longest continuous period of excess mortality of any country” which led to the country having the “highest levels of excess mortality in Europe for the period as a whole.”
The disease has so far killed 45,961 people in the UK, with Birmingham recording the most extra deaths compared to the 2015-19 five-year average.
So why did we end up the sick man of Europe – and who is responsible?
Prof Neil Ferguson told MPs that around 25,000 deaths could have been avoided if lockdown had been imposed a week earlier.
But it was halted here on March 12. Health chiefs later admitted they did not have the “capacity” to carry out widespread checks.
Only on April 2 did Health Secretary Matt Hancock announce plans for mass testing. across the country.
Although levels of kit have now improved at the start of the outbreak the British Medical Association was reporting “dangerously low levels” in some parts of the country.
It found that half of doctors were having to work in high-risk areas without an adequate amount of personal protective equipment.
The risk was flagged by SAGE in January but until April Public Health England said infection in care homes “remains very unlikely”.
The National Audit Office found 25,000 hospital patients were discharged to homes with no tests at Covid’s peak.
Boris Johnson boasted of shaking hands with NHS workers on March 3 – the day that SAGE advised against “greetings such as shaking hands and hugging.”
But latest figures show that it is failing to reach a quarter of the contacts of infected.
Plans for an NHS mobile app to be in place by mid May were scrapped after a pilot showed that it did not work with iPhones.
An estimated six out of 10 health workers who have died are from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.
The Government yesterday said that people who test positive or have symptoms should now isolate for 10 days, rather than seven.
The UK only introduced quarantine measures on June 8 requiring travellers to self-isolate for 14 days and included a list of exemptions.
Ministers have failed to explain why it was not introduced earlier or why Liverpool’s match against Atletico Madrid on March 12 when Spain was a hotspot was allowed.
The No 10 adviser’s breach of lockdown rules undermined the spirit of unity in the country.
It is impossible to judge the precise impact his actions had but many believe others strayed from the guidance as a result.
News – UK has worst coronavirus excess death toll in Europe – 10 reasons why