50,000 deaths and counting: how Britain bungled its Covid-19 ...

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50,000 deaths and counting: how Britain bungled its Covid-19 response

The country’s fragmented, bureaucratic reaction has been disastrous from day one and led to a second wave

Andrew MacAskill, Ryan McNeill, Stephen Grey, Steve Stecklow, Tommy Wilkes and Andrew R.C. Marshall

On the doorstep of a terraced house in northern England, virus-hunter Colin Hutchinson came face to face with the new wave of Covid-19 and the obstacles to slowing its spread.

A retired surgeon, Hutchinson is part of a local team of “contact tracers” in Halifax, Yorkshire, that aims to reach infected people before they infect others. His experience that day in mid-October, he said, summed up why Britain’s “tracking of the virus is very, very poor”.

He wanted to speak urgently to a 54-year-old woman who’d tested positive for Covid-19 to identify her contacts. The area’s two hospitals were filling up — 40 Covid-19 patients were already being treated — and deaths from the virus had tripled in the district in the previous two weeks...

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