BBC coronavirus: Public health expert’s explosive claim of UK infection rate sparks panic
A LEADING public health expert has savaged the Government’s response during a furious outburst on the BBC where he claimed that Atletico Madrid fans arriving in the UK yesterday “had already infected people here”.
Coronavirus: Public health expert tells government to ‘get a grip’
Professor John Ashton lost the plot during an explosive BBC Newsnight interview last night, where he suggested that Atletico Madrid football fans “infected people last night”. He claimed that the Government “needed to get a grip” and questioned why the UK was not testing people coming back from Italy. Italy has been one of the hardest-hit countries during the coronavirus outbreak.
The country has closed all shops except food stores and pharmacies in Europe’s toughest lockdown yet.
Amid an escalating global response, President Donald Trump has suspended all travel from Europe to the United States for 30 days from Friday.
Speaking to the BBC, Professor Ashton said: “The pandemic declaration was a kick up the bottom for the British Government.
“We have had a complacent, academic attitude to this outbreak.”
Professor John Ashton lost the plot during an explosive BBC Newsnight interview last night
Ashton suggested that a proportion of Madrid fans were coronavirus positive
Professor Ashton continued: “If this now spreads the way it looks like it will spread, there will not be enough hospital beds and people will have to be nursed at home.
“We should have gotten a grip on this a month ago. I want to know why we haven’t tested those people who have come back from Italy and who are now amongst us.
“We have a recipe for community spread of coronavirus in the UK.”
Flight crews of planes arriving at UK airports from Italy and China are supposed to ask passengers if they’re feeling unwell and communicate any possible cases to health officials.
Professor Ashton went on to criticise the UK for allowing Atletico Madrid football fans into the country
Professor Ashton went on to criticise the UK for allowing Atletico Madrid football fans into the country for last night’s Champions League match against Liverpool at Anfield.
He explained: “You have Madrid, where they are playing games behind closed doors, who have 3,000 supporters in town staying overnight in Liverpool, drinking in the bars and a proportion of those will be corona-positive
“We will have people who will be infected tonight because of that. The Government needs to get a grip and stop treating the country like children.”
Ashton went on to criticise the London-centric approach that Downing Street had taken
Professor Ashton, who was a part of the Faculty of Public Health until 2016, went on to criticise the London-centric approach that Downing Street had taken.
He said: “Staffing has been dramatically reduced in local authorities. It is not all run from London, from people behind closed doors.
“This is a battle against the virus that will be run by everyone.”
UNESCO has confirmed that at least 22 countries at the time of writing have now imposed nationwide school closures in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
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