Health expert brands government's response to coronavirus "perverse"

10 March 2020, 09:09 | Updated: 10 March 2020, 09:48

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

The government's refusal to shut down large public gatherings and sporting events is "perverse", a health expert told LBC.

Nick Ferrari was speaking with Independent Health Analyst and Senior Lecturer in Nursing Dr John Campbell about the government's decision to allow events like this week's Cheltenham Festival to go ahead.

It comes as the whole of Italy was put into lockdown on Monday in response to the worst outbreak of coronavirus outside of China, where the disease originated.

Dr Campbell, a retired A&E nurse and lecturer, was telling Nick that both the UK government and others around the world had not been proactive enough in its response to Covid-19.

"We're waiting for things to happen and then react to it. But we know that this virus is already spreading in the communities so we need to be much more proactive. We need to be putting measures in place now that are going to prevent the spread of the virus," he said.

The doctor reassured Nick that "we are going to recover" from the outbreak
The doctor reassured Nick that "we are going to recover" from the outbreak. Picture: PA

The doctor sounded baffled at the thought that large-scale public gatherings were still being allowed to go ahead, to the extent that he said it was "somewhat perverse" that they had not been cancelled.

"I think we've just got to accept for the next good few months and maybe even up to a year that life isn't going to be quite what it normally is," he continued.

However, he offered some reassurance by saying that "we are going to recover."

The doctor then warned that indoor events pose a greater risk to public health as the virus can hang around in the air "for up to half an hour" as people share breaths, coughs and sneezes.

He then told Nick that we must all begin to alter our behaviour, such as touching our faces, in order to combat the virus.

Dr Campbell then explained the different symptoms on show with Covid-19, saying it prevents itself through things like a dry cough, fever, aching mucles and undue fatigue, and if anyone shows any of the above then they should self-isolate.