Friday, 18 Jun 2021

Boris Johnson should be ‘proud’ of coronavirus response despite 40,000 UK deaths – poll

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The UK has the second-highest coronavirus fatalities in the world and this afternoon the Department for Health confirmed a further 357 people had lost their life – taking the total number of fatalities to 40,261. The Government’s strategy to tackle COVID-19 has come under fire from politicians and experts throughout the pandemic – including the timing of the lockdown, testing, the availability of PPE, and the gradual easing of the lockdown.

Meanwhile, Downing Street has been widely praised for ramping up the testing capacity, not letting the NHS get overwhelmed and paying the wages of more than eight million Britons through the furlough scheme.

At a heated Prime Minister Question’s (PMQs) on Wednesday, Mr Johnson was accused of presiding over a Government that lacked the “trust and confidence” by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

However, Mr Johnson hit back and said: “I take full responsibility for everything this Government has been doing in tackling coronavirus and I’m very proud of our record.”

A poll of more than 2,000 readers found just under two-thirds felt the Prime Minister should be “proud” of the Government’s record on COVID-19.

The survey conducted on Friday, June 5 between 11.15am and 6.30pm asked 2,042 readers: “Is Boris Johnson right to be ‘very proud’ of COVID-19 response?”

The majority of people, 64 percent (1,328), agreed with the Prime Minister and voted yes.

Just over a third of participants, 35 percent (678) disagreed and voted no.

Meanwhile, just one percent (36) remained unsure and voted don’t know.

The poll, however, divided opinion among readers who let their feelings known in the comments section.

One reader said: “Nobody could have predicted the way this virus spread throughout the world.

“Very little is known about the virus and we are in unchartered waters.”

A second user said: “They should be proud and we should be grateful. They have not got everything right but no Government would have.”

A third user said: “Boris and the Government have handled this pandemic as best as anyone could expect.”

Meanwhile, a number of readers disagreed, one user, said: “I am not sure that the Government can be proud of anything.”

Another commented: “Almost the worst performance in the world!”


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At the Downing Street press conference this afternoon, Matt Hancock outlined the Government’s plan to take a “more localised” approach to implementing lockdown measures to contain regional outbreaks.

The Health Secretary pointed to measures recently successfully introduced in Weston-Super-Mare in Somerset to control a flare-up of coronavirus in a hospital.

New data from Public Health England (PHE) suggests that the reproductive rate of coronavirus is now around one in the North West and South West of England, while it is below one in other English regions.

He told the briefing: “You’re right that the R is closer to one in the South West and in the North West, the advice from Sage is that R is below one in all regions.

“However, we want to increasingly have an approach in tackling local lockdowns where we spot a flare-up.

“We’ve been doing this over the last few weeks, for instance, there was a flare-up in Weston-super-Mare which we successfully got under control.”

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