IT is very good news to read of the new powers given to local authorities to tackle local Covid-19 outbreaks (‘Swift action needed to limit outbreaks’, July 18). Further, the government has also signposted that it will now be handing over the test data to local authorities in a properly usable form.

We should not be complacent about this disease. The virus is not yet done in this country and it still runs amok through the Americas and elsewhere. In context, it is widely reported that almost a quarter of the 600,000 global death toll has been in Donald Trump’s USA. What goes unreported is that, measured by ‘excess deaths’, the 65,000 UK death toll represents almost an eighth of that global total.

For five long months, the UK response to Covid-19 has been poorly micro-managed from Downing Street. Far too much time was wasted dreaming about game-changing antibody tests or world-beating apps or vaccines magically appearing to save the day. With lockdown at last being relaxed, we need more than bluster to prevent events from again spreading out-of-control from under Boris’s squashed sombrero.

The centrally-run test and trace organisation still works well below the required efficiency. So it is good to see Downing Street now allowing local authorities to manage local outbreaks.


Bloxworth Road, Parkstone