We cannot ignore the harms of lockdown

An open letter from 66 GPs says our ‘one-track response’ to Covid is threatening public health.

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Topics Politics Science & Tech UK

Sixty-six GPs have sent a stark letter to health secretary Matt Hancock, arguing that the health costs of the government’s Covid strategy outweigh the benefits.

The letter criticises the government’s ‘one-track response’ to the pandemic, arguing it ‘threatens more lives and livelihoods than Covid lives saved’. It notes that there have been over 30,000 excess deaths in private homes since March, but fewer than one tenth of these resulted from coronavirus. Many of these deaths will have been the result of a lack of access to medical care, as the NHS has effectively been closed to non-Covid patients for much of the past six months. Thousands have also avoided seeking necessary medical care.

The GPs say that ‘public health goes beyond deaths and ICU beds’. They cite a rise in child suicides during lockdown, a higher level of acute cardiovascular deaths and concerns about mental health as ‘but a sample of the myriad harms’ caused by the restrictions.

The letter adds, ‘we must recognise our duty to do no harm’. This comment echoes the words of pathologist Dr John Lee, who previously told spiked that the government’s decision to enter lockdown ‘violate[d] a key principle of medicine: first, do no harm’.

This letter reminds us that the government’s claim to be following ‘The Science’ is misleading – there is no unified and monolithic scientific approach to Covid. Focusing solely on Covid at the expense of everything else has done real harm.

It’s time for the government to abandon its disastrous strategy. Lives literally depend on it.

Picture by: Getty.

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