Delay to winter lockdown caused up to 27,000 extra Covid deaths 10 months ago

Delay to winter lockdown caused up to 27,000 extra Covid deaths

Locking down earlier could have saved "tens of thousands of lives," report finds

The delay to England’s latest national lockdown has caused up to 27,000 further Covid deaths, a report by the Resolution Foundation thinktank has found.

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The report claimed that one "huge mistake" made repeatedly by the Government was "the failure to lockdown early enough despite clear evidence of the need to do so."

"[The] mistake is all the worse for having been made, not once, but three tragic times," the report said.

The report, which investigated the Government's handling of the pandemic over the past year, said that the failure to protect care homes, particularly in the first wave which saw the Government sending hospital patients at risk of Covid-19 back into care homes, contributed to the UK's "horrendous death toll."

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On Twitter, the Resolution Foundation said: "Lockdowns repeatedly came too late. This has led to the UK having one of the highest excess death rates per population of any advanced economy."

The late introduction of measures also meant that the UK has experienced "among the tightest overall social distancing restrictions over the year as a whole within G7 countries," according to the report.

"Because cases were repeatedly allowed to escalate, restrictions that were belatedly introduced had to be tighter and last longer to bring the overall case load back down," the report said.

The report also said that, due to the tighter restrictions and the weight they have placed on the UK's economy and the hospitality sector, the UK has experienced the biggest fall in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in the G7 over the past 12 months.

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The report praised the vaccination rollout, however, referring to it as a "triumph."

"Not only are lives being saved as a result [of the vaccine rollout], but our economic prospects are being upgraded too."