I’m not going to say Government would impose lockdown again, top civil servant tells MPs

In April, experts from the Department of Health, the Office of National Statistics, the Government’s actuary department and the Home Office, published a projection of the collateral damage from delays to healthcare and the effects of recession arising from the pandemic response.

They calculated that up to 25,000 people could die from delays to treatment in a six-month lockdown and a further 185,000 in the medium to long term, amounting to nearly one million years of life lost. 

Questioning Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, about the report, Graham Stringer MP said: “I don’t see any response to the fact that a lot of people were going to die.”

Mr Hancock said: “We always knew the decisions you take to prevent deaths from Covid of course have other consequences, and that is one of the balancing factors that you have to take into account – but the decisions we took were absolutely the right ones.

“The advice that I received at the time, which I think was wise advice, is that there are a number of different problems with a very large epidemic. 

“There is the direct deaths from Covid, indirect deaths if the NHS is overwhelmed, and thankfully we minimised that. The third group is the deaths because you can’t do certain treatments, and then there are the deaths due to economic consequences of the decisions. And we were alive to all four different types of mortality.”

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