The Bow Group Calls for Lockdown to End

Health
Sunday, June 21, 2020


 

"In January 2020, recognising the danger of coronavirus, the Bow Group was the first think tank to call for a comprehensive government response. We called for a lockdown & border closure weeks before it was implemented, in the hope the government would buy time to properly re-tool the NHS and roll out testing to save lives. 

The UK currently has among the very worst health outcomes in the world for coronavirus, and we now have a situation where lockdown is openly being broken by thousands of protesters with impunity.


The priority must always be the preservation of life, but a continued economic downturn will also cost lives. We are in danger of experiencing the worst of both worlds, a devastating impact to public health followed by a devastating impact to our economy.  If the government is unwilling to enforce its own rules fairly and for all then ending the lockdown is the only option."
Ben Harris-Quinney, Chairman, The Bow Group 

 Key Facts

  • The Bow Group called in January for a comprehensive government response to coronavirus at a time when the government believed it to pose a "very low threat to UK health."
  • Since that time the United Kingdom has seen more than 40,000 people die from coronavirus.
  • The mortality figures in the UK are among the worst in the world with 14% of those reported to have the virus dying. Germany by comparison has seen only 4% of reported cases die
  • Estimates suggest that tens of thousands attended protests over the past few weeks, breaching lockdown rules on a mass scale.
  • In April alone the UK experienced a 20% economic contraction.
  • A Bow Group report into the UK's food supply discovered that if UK food production falls by 13% and imports also fall by 13%, then the UK will be at risk of running out of food.
Proposals
  • If the government is unwilling to enforce lockdown rules for all we call for lockdown to be ended, and for the UK to reopen with precautions to lessen the economic downturn and allow as many as possible to return to work and family life.
  • The government should continue to increase comprehensive ICU capacity, testing, tracing, and inform the public. 

Quotes:

 

"In January 2020, recognising the danger of coronavirus, the Bow Group was the first think tank to call for a comprehensive government response. We called for a lockdown & border closure weeks before it was implemented, in the hope the government would buy time to properly re-tool the NHS and roll out testing to save lives. 

The UK currently has among the very worst health outcomes in the world for coronavirus, and we now have a situation where lockdown is openly being broken by thousands of protesters with impunity.

We welcome the government's new emergency legislation on protests, but until all those breaking the rules are prosecuted it simply is not reasonable to continue to ask law abiding British citizens to stand by as they lose their livelihoods while others break lockdown & commit crime without sanction.

The priority must always be the preservation of life, but a continued economic downturn will also cost lives. We are in danger of experiencing the worst of both worlds, a devastating impact to public health followed by a devastating impact to our economy.  If the government is unwilling to enforce its own rules fairly and for all then ending the lockdown is the only option."
Ben Harris-Quinney, Chairman, The Bow Group 

"The reason for lockdown was stated at the time to be to suppress the virus to prevent the NHS capacity collapsing. It has achieved this and has done so for nearly 2 months. The only reason to exit lockdown slowly is having a competent test and trace system running and people have confidence the government will make sound and informed decisions based on it. I see nothing to show they will handle this crisis in anyway other than as a public relations crisis, as they have done from the beginning. Therefore there is no reason lifting lockdown should be delayed."
Dr Jon Stanley, Senior Research Fellow, The Bow Group