India Markets close in 4 hrs 51 mins
  • BSE SENSEX

    43,785.21
    -42.89 (-0.10%)
     
  • Nifty 50

    12,845.60
    -12.80 (-0.10%)
     
  • USD/INR

    73.8600
    +0.0920 (+0.1247%)
     
  • Dow

    29,872.47
    -173.77 (-0.58%)
     
  • Nasdaq

    12,094.40
    +57.62 (+0.48%)
     
  • BTC-INR

    1,318,148.88
    -59,473.62 (-4.32%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    348.40
    -22.12 (-5.97%)
     
  • Hang Seng

    26,672.52
    +2.77 (+0.01%)
     
  • Nikkei

    26,435.66
    +138.80 (+0.53%)
     
  • EUR/INR

    88.0714
    +0.1656 (+0.19%)
     
  • GBP/INR

    98.8779
    +0.1615 (+0.16%)
     
  • AED/INR

    20.0630
    +0.0230 (+0.11%)
     
  • INR/JPY

    1.4094
    -0.0037 (-0.26%)
     
  • SGD/INR

    55.1860
    +0.0930 (+0.17%)
     

Health minister Nadine Dorries says only ‘a crystal ball’ could have predicted need for second lockdown

Rob Merrick
·2-min read
 

A health minister is under fire after claiming only “a crystal ball” could have predicted the need for a second lockdown – despite scientists calling for it six weeks ago.

Nadine Dorries became embroiled in a Twitter spat after criticism that every government action is “at least three weeks too late”.

“If only we had a crystal ball and could actually see how many over 60s would be infected, the positivity rate, the infection rate and the subsequent lag giving us the 14-day anticipated demand on hospital beds on any particular day, three weeks in advance,” the mental health minister protested.

However, the Sage advisory group of scientists recommended – as long ago as 21 September – that a “circuit break” lockdown of 2-3 weeks was needed, to curb rising Covid-19 infections.

Alex Norris MP, a Labour health spokesman, said: “The government didn’t need a crystal ball – it just needed to listen to the scientists who warned repeatedly this would happen.

“The government ignored calls for a short, sharp two-week circuit breaker – and, as a result, we now face an extended lockdown that will damage the economy and which ordinary people will pay the price for.”

Ms Dorries claimed it was “a surprise” that Covid-19 was no spreading so quickly in over-60s, putting hospital beds capacity under such pressure.

“I have no more information than you do,” she told one critic. “Anyone can take a look at the Covid dashboard on gov.uk and plot the trajectory of the virus.”

more follows

Read more

PM poised to adopt lockdown policy he called ‘height of absurdity’