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UK has worst coronavirus excess death toll in Europe - 10 reasons why

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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?  Here are 10 reasons... 1. Too slow to lockdown  Britain had the advantage of learning from Spain and Italy when the virus hit Europe.  Both imposed lockdowns to contain the spread. But Downing Street delayed.  Prof Neil Ferguson told MPs that around 25,000 deaths could have been avoided if lockdown had been imposed a week earlier. 2. Too slow to start testing  Countries such as Germany, South Korea and Singapore started testing when virus struck.  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. 3. Lack of protective kit  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. 4. Failure to protect care homes  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.  MPs said: “Our care homes were... thrown to the wolves.” 5. Confused messaging  The Government stands accused of sending out mixed messages to the public.  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.”  There was similar confusion over masks. 6. Test and Trace  Boris Johnson often claims the UK has a "world beating" test and trace system.  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. 7. Support for black and Asian communities  An estimated six out of 10 health workers who have died are from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.  The Government set up a review.  A separate study has said the lives of public transport workers in London, which includes 8. Slow to follow WHO advice  The Government yesterday said that people who test positive or have symptoms should now isolate for 10 days, rather than seven.  T

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