Michael McDowell: Six months wasted since last Covid lockdown

Department of Health and HSE failed to address dangerously low ICU capacity

Nphet main team members were nearly all involved in health policy advice before Covid-19. Where was the decision taken to leave us unprepared for an epidemic or a pandemic? Photograph: Alan Betson

Nphet main team members were nearly all involved in health policy advice before Covid-19. Where was the decision taken to leave us unprepared for an epidemic or a pandemic? Photograph: Alan Betson

Dr David Nabarro of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that governments should not regard lockdowns as the primary means of controlling Covid-19. The only justification for lockdowns, he said, is for “buying time” to reorganise your health service and resources.

He also pointed out the massive damage by lockdowns globally to public health and in particular to the poorest and most vulnerable in society. He said the WHO appeals to all the world’s political leaders to “stop using lockdowns as your primary control method”. He said that lockdowns have one principal consequence – “making poor people an awful lot poorer”.

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