Sir David Davis comments on the report outlining failures in the government’s Coronavirus response


As published by The Daily Express:

The UK should have “shut borders” the way East Asian countries did to tackle Coronavirus instead of pursuing the style of lockdowns the Government implemented, claims Conservative MP David Davis.

Mr Davis told GB News on Tuesday a damning new report from the Health and Social Care Committee and the Science and Technology Committee outlining huge failures within the government’s Coronavirus response does not address the possibility of locking down the UK borders. He claimed how such a measure as seen in other parts of the world would have been an effective means to tackle the spread of the virus as the governments handling of the pandemic has been branded one of the worst in the world by the report.

Mr Davis said: “Countries like Sweden… who effectively were leaving measures to individuals, to be sensible and social distance went through a trough of criticism about a year ago

“But actually its outcome has been if anything better than ours.”

He went on to suggest how one of the weaknesses of the joint committee report is that during its discussion of lockdowns within the documents, he claims it left out the possibilities of shutting down borders in the style that was seen in East Asia’s response.

Mr Davis explained: “The approach taken by the East Asians in particular was to close borders, to take a very very fast and tough track and trace mechanism… a million times better than ours.”

He stressed: “They didn’t really do the sort of lockdowns we did, they did a very tight control of their own borders.

“I think when a full scale analysis comes a long you’re going to have tome compare lockdown, which is what we ended up doing…

“And a precursor policy, which is what the East Asians did and frankly even today, that is still the most successful.”

Mr Davis’s comments follow a report from MP’s which has branded how the governments failure to do more to stop Covid spreading early in the pandemic is one of the country’s worst public health failures ever.

The 150-page report titled Coronavirus: Lessons learned to date, was published by the Health and Social Care Committee and the Science and Technology Committee as well as MPs from all parties.

It outlines how the deliberately “slow and gradualist” approach to bring in an early lockdown in order to tackle the spreading virus meant the UK fared “significantly worse” than other countries.

The documents also attack the government and scientists for failures which it says came about from “group-think”.

This, the report says, was evidenced in the UK being not as open to different approaches on earlier lockdowns, border controls and test and trace as it should have been.

The report goes on to outline how the pandemic also exposed “major deficiencies in the machinery of government”.

It also slams the government of having “squandered” its early development of a Covid test which instead of making the most of a possible early victory against the bug, turned into one of “permanent crisis”

In a joint statement responding to the findings, Jeremy Hunt, chair of the health and social care committee, and Greg Clark, chair of the science and technology committee, said: “The UK response has combined some big achievements with some big mistakes.

“It is vital to learn from both to ensure that we perform as best as we can during the remainder of the pandemic and in the future.”