British health minister says mistakes were made, one year on from first COVID lockdown

Pallbearers from W. Uden & Sons Family Funeral Directors bow their heads to a coffin during a funeral service in Bromley, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in south east London, Britain, January 28, 2021. Picture taken January 28, 2021. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) – Mistakes were made in the original response to the coronavirus pandemic, health minister Matt Hancock said on Tuesday one year on from the first COVID-19 lockdown in England, adding there would be a time for an inquiry into the government’s response.

“We’ve actively admitted that things weren’t right. One of the examples I think of is how at first we thought that this virus didn’t pass on if you didn’t have symptoms. There were policy consequences from that assumption, and we’ve changed that,” Hancock told BBC radio, adding that the government had already been learning from things that hadn’t gone well.

“There will be a time for everybody to reflect and there’ll be an inquiry to look back over all of this in the whole. But the honest truth of that is, we’ve been doing that all along.”