Can the government be condemned for the death of Covid-19 patients? If the sanction is not determined, the answer seems to be yes across the Channel. Two Britons whose fathers died of Covid-19 had sued the British government and English health authorities. They accuse him of having authorized returns to retirement homes at the start of the pandemic without carrying out screening, which contributed to spreading the virus among fragile populations.
In a ruling on Wednesday, two High Court judges concluded that the policies followed by the government in March and early April 2020 were “unlawful” because they failed to take into account the risks of asymptomatic transmission of the virus. They said that despite ‘growing awareness of the risk of asymptomatic transmission in March 2020, ‘no evidence’ shows then-Health Minister Matt Hancock considered the risk to residents. Retirement homes. Even asymptomatic, a patient returning from the hospital at this time should, “as far as possible, be kept away from other residents for fourteen days,” said the judges.
“We didn’t know much about the disease.”
The lawyer for the two complainants, Cathy Gardner, 60, and Fay Harris, 58, Jason Coppel, pointed out that more than 20,000 elderly or disabled people living in these establishments died of Covid-19 in England. And in Wales between March and June 2020. He said the “government’s failure” to protect this “particularly vulnerable” population was “one of the most egregious and damning political failures of the modern age.”
“I wasted precious years with my wonderful father. When his nursing home was locked down, I left him fit, well, and happy on March 22, 2020. He should have been safe and protected, but I never saw him again or spoke to him again,” said Fay Harris, saying “many people died of Covid in his nursing home.”
Returning to this affair, Prime Minister Boris Johnson estimated before the House of Commons that it was a “challenging period” and that “we did not know much about the disease” at the time. A spokesman for the Minister of Health said the High Court had found he had acted reasonably but that health authorities in England “did not tell ministers what they knew about asymptomatic transmission.