According to the National Audit Office report, two exercises in 2007 and 2016 showed that more effective and coordinated contingency plans were needed to protect the population and deal with the interruption of the school year and help workers affected by the confinements.
There were lessons that were not put into practice that could have helped prepare for a pandemic like Covid-19, concluded the inquiry conducted by the independent parliamentary body.
The text points out that the massive spread of the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus exposed the vulnerability of the entire British emergency services system.
It further considered that preparations for the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, while strengthening the capacity of some departments to respond to crises, also forced the diversion of resources from other risk and contingency plans.
Commenting on the report, Covid-19 Victims Relatives group spokeswoman Lobby Akinnola said the inquiry confirms something that was already known: that the government was not prepared for the pandemic and that their loved ones might still be alive if it were.
The political opposition also used the release of the report to lash out at the authorities.
Labour MP Fleur Anderson, for example, accused Conservative ministers of failing the British public, while Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey said the study exposed the government’s utter failure to prepare for the pandemic.
With more than 143,500 deaths and 9.5 million coronavirus-positive cases accumulated so far, the UK is one of the European countries most affected by Covid-19.