UK Government buried warnings of pandemic three years ago: Care Minister responds to findings

A British Government minister, Care Minister, Helen Whately, responded to allegations that the UK Government ignored – and even ‘buried’ – warnings of a pandemic three years ago.

The Sunday Telegraph exclusively revealed that ministers were warned that the NHS could not cope with a pandemic three years ago but the ‘terrifying’ results were kept secret.

Ministers were informed three years ago that Britain would be quickly overwhelmed by a severe outbreak amid a shortage of critical care beds, morgue capacity and personal protective equipment (PPE), an investigation has discovered.

Codenamed Exercise Cygnus, the three-day dry run for a pandemic carried out in October 2016 tested how NHS hospitals and other services would cope in the event of a major flu outbreak with a similar mortality rate to Covid-19.

Care Minister Helen Whately, who did not hold the role at the time of the test, speaks to LBC’s Nick Ferrari about the findings.

In This Story: COVID-19

Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.

Symptoms of coronavirus

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a persistent new cough (non productive, dry)
  • a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
  • shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)

Latest News about Covid-19

Below are stories from around the globe related to the 2020 outbreak of novel Coronavirus – since the WHO gave the Covid-19 naming. Most recent items are posted nearest the top.

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