Ex-Chief Scientific Adviser thinks Government made 'criminal mistake' on Covid

28 October 2020, 18:54 | Updated: 29 October 2020, 08:02

By Sam Sholli

Former Chief Scientific Adviser Sir David King believes the Government has made a "criminal mistake" in its handling of the Covid crisis.

Sir David King, who is the chair of Independent SAGE, told LBC of his concerns over the Government's performance as the Department of Health has confirmed that a further 310 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Wednesday,

The Government said that, as of 9am on Wednesday, there had been a further 24,701 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus over the past 24 hours. It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 942,275.

Sir David told LBC's Eddie Mair that the UK should go into a "modified national lockdown" to "get the country back into a position where the number of new cases can be managed by Test and Trace".

He also called for the Test and Trace system to handled through local healthcare providers instead of private companies.

Speaking of his recommendations, Sir David said: "If the Government had done this back in February and March when everyone knew this was coming along...We could have got away with something like no more than 1,000 deaths..."

Eddie then asked if the mismanagement Sir David was accusing the Government of could be labelled as a "criminal mistake".

Sir David replied: "I fully appreciate that that is the implication of what I'm saying Eddie and I don't think it really can be ducked."

Referring to South Korea and Singapore, the Independent SAGE chair said: "Those countries have had no more than 200 [or] 300 deaths because they put everything in place. We did nothing about Test and Trace beyond a very weak system left in the National Health System until May, unbelievably.

He added: "What was the Government thinking of? It's impossible to not be very upset about the situation for the whole country."