Ian Payne 4pm - 7pm
WHO Special Envoy for Covid-19 "pretty impressed" by government response
4 August 2020, 21:21
The World Health Organisation's Special Envoy on coronavirus commended the government for their current pandemic response.
Dr David Nabarro was speaking to Iain Dale about the current state of play in the UK's battle against the virus. "If you were Prime Minister," Iain asked, "what is the one thing that you'd be doing now that the government currently isn't doing."
The WHO Special Envoy revealed "I'm pretty impressed with what Britain is doing right now."
He suggested that constant dialogue with the public is key to an effective coronavirus response. "The thing that i would be doing all the time, consistently, is levelling with people and explaining to them that this is going to be a long haul."
"We need to give each other a little bit of time to come to terms with what this new virus...is going to mean for the way in which we all behave," he added.
Dr Nabarro called for community spirit during the pandemic, urging people to "work together to come to terms with it."
He urged listeners to "get back to work, get the kids back to school, get on with our social lives and do it in a way that keeps us safe at the same time."
The Special Envoy reiterated that we are in this for the long haul, telling Iain that "the only thing that's going to stop this is a vaccine that works and is widely available," and until then, we'll have to get used to this new normal.
Iain prodded Dr Nabarro on the topic of a contact tracing app, which Scotland is apparently investing in but the English government isn't. He wondered if the Special Envoy thought this is a misguided decision.
Dr Nabarro insisted that "doing track and trace really requires people," and the current approach the UK has matches this model. He added "the app is a supporting piece but it is not the answer," and although people might want a nationwide app, it is not crucial to an effective response.
"It really depends on people who are really good at using the phones and talking it through with people."