A week ago, in its Saturday edition (18 September 2021), the 'i' newspaper published an in-depth article by Jane Merrick revealing how No.10 repeatedly overlooked flaws in its strategy as the Delta variant appeared on the world scene and then hit the UK.
On the 1 April 2021 this year, a female staff member in a north London care home, who had received her first dose of AstraZeneca in January, tested positive for COVID-19. Within three weeks of that result, 24 of the 42 residents and staff at the care home - which had managed to avoid any outbreaks during the first and second waves - had also tested positive. Just three of the 24 were without any vaccine protection. Genomic sequencing identified the virus as a variant that had arrived from India, now known as the Delta variant and already the dominant form of the virus worldwide.
|My thanks to Wolverton for this brilliant cartoon - just add to the list those whose vaccine immunity is wearing off after six months|
By 14 May, members of Nervtag (the government committee of scientists which has been set up to deal with emerging virus threats) began to ring the alarm bells. It was not until the middle of June, a month later, that the Department of Health under Matt Hancock responded to the Nervtag discovery that the first case in that north London care home was residing with someone who had returned from India in March and had been feeling unwell. That traveller had correctly followed amber list rules and had been quarantining at home. But other people living at that address were not required to isolate and were going about their daily business.
Even though India went on the red list on 23 April - with all travellers kept in hotel quarantine for 10