May 26 – The woeful handling of the Covid-19 crisis by the British government has been underlined by a leading scientist saying that allowing two major sporting events to go ahead in March “caused increased suffering and death”.
Professor Tim Spector, who developed the first app monitoring the symptoms of people in Britain with suspected coronavirus, said rates of cases locally “increased several-fold” following Liverpool’s Champions League clash against Atletico Madrid when 3,000 Spanish fans were to attend even though a partial lockdown was already in force in Spain, and following horseracing’s Cheltenham Festival.
At that stage the UK’s policy was not to shut down mass gatherings with sports governing bodies taking their cue from Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Britain has the highest number of corona-related deaths in the world after the United States and Prof Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College, London, told the BBC “people will have probably died prematurely” because of the decision-making.
“I think sporting events should have been shut down at least a week earlier because they’ll have caused increased suffering and death that wouldn’t otherwise have occurred,” he said.
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