Submitted by Edward James Little on Monday 15th February 2021
Published on Tuesday 23rd February 2021
Current status: Closed
Closed: Monday 23rd August 2021
Agree to hold a public inquiry to examine the true, full, effects of Lockdowns.
The UK Government should commit to holding a public inquiry into the use of Lockdowns as a public health strategy during a crisis to ensure that we only resort to this major intervention again if proven, irrefutably and objectively, to work as intended and to clearly outweigh any harms caused.
In 2020 the UK locked down in the wake of SARS-CoV-2. There is evidence which suggests that this historically unprecedented and long-lasting measure may have profound economic, health, educational, psychological and democratic impacts for decades. Simultaneously data exists which questions its true efficacy in reducing the spread of infection and ensuing illnesses and deaths. A public inquiry would help establish the truth of the matter.
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The Government responded to this petition on Thursday 1st April 2021
There will be an appropriate time to reflect and analyse on all aspects of the pandemic. For now, we are focused on protecting the NHS, saving lives and starting to cautiously ease restrictions.
COVID-19 is the biggest challenge the UK has faced in decades. Our priority as a government throughout has been to make sure we are providing the best possible response to managing the virus, while setting a viable route back to normal life.
On 22 February, Government published ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’, setting out how we will continue to protect and support citizens across the UK, and providing a roadmap out of the current lockdown in England. The design of the roadmap has been informed by the latest scientific evidence and seeks a balance between our key social and economic priorities, whilst preserving the health and safety of the country.
It goes without saying that there are lessons to be learned from our response to the pandemic, and the Prime Minister has confirmed that an independent inquiry will be commissioned at an appropriate time. Nevertheless, we are not waiting for that moment to look at how we can improve our management of the pandemic.
We have consistently adapted our response as we have learnt more about the virus and how best to tackle it. We have also already set out a number of reforms we will make to ensure the country is better prepared for any future pandemic and that will address concerns that have been raised about our response to the most urgent period of the crisis. These include:
● Nigel Boardman’s Cabinet Office commissioned independent report into procurement processes, which sets out 28 recommendations that the department is committed to implementing in full;
● The Government’s recent white paper setting out measures to modernise the legal framework to make the health and care system fit for the future, and put in place targeted improvements for the delivery of public health and social care;
● The creation of the National Institute for Health Protection to extend our existing science-led approach to public health protection;
● The new National Situation Centre which will bring timely data analysis and insights from across and beyond government to support situational awareness on crisis and national security issues; and
● The Government’s response to the National Audit Office’s report into Government procurement during the COVID-19 pandemic which was published in November.
We are continually reviewing our approach, learning lessons and seeking to implement improvements to systems and processes such that we are better prepared for any future crisis.
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