Eddie Mair 4pm - 7pm
James O'Brien explains why he is confused by coronavirus measures
18 March 2020, 18:21
The fact that people are being told to avoid pubs and restaurants despite neither being told to close during the Covid-19 outbreak has confused James O'Brien.
Speaking about the measures, James claimed that "social distancing doesn't seem to be working". According to him, through social media you can see two sides of coronavirus action.
James has seen pictures showing empty platforms on train lines, but also has told that social distancing has been "utterly impossible this morning on the Victoria line".
He called for measures on social distancing "in a way that leaves no confusion". James referenced the work of some European states and how their reaction and policy has left no room for interpretation on social distancing with cities effectively shut down.
Although the general public has been told not to go near pubs and bars, "people running pubs haven't been told to close". James didn't understand this as a strategy and said that such action is confusing rather than clarifying anything for the public.
"If the World Health Organisation is describing testing as the most important thing we can do, why aren't we testing nurses and doctors?"
James pointed out the contradictory nature of the UK's response versus the recommendations of the WHO and reiterated that the advice of the government is just confusing people.
With so much uncertainty around the UK's response, "we're back to the first problem of them all" James said. The fact that most of the coronavirus strategy is only recommendation, those most vulnerable in society are losing out.
A Government spokesperson said: “We are taking every reasonable step to confront coronavirus, backed by a world-renowned team of clinicians, public health experts and scientists working around the clock.
“The Social distancing measures we introduced are proactive steps the public can take to help reduce spreading the virus. We acknowledge the impact on businesses and society they will have, which is why the Chancellor announced £330bn worth of government backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses across the UK.”