Evan Davis presented on 16 March a new discussion series exploring key lessons to learn from the coronavirus pandemic, a year after the eruption of the crisis in the UK. In the first episode on preparedness, Evan and his panel of expert guests discussed the UK’s readiness to handle a pandemic and compared it with the experience of other countries. Should the UK have been better prepared, given it had conducted a major exercise in pandemic planning, Operation Cygnus, in 2016? What can be learnt from other countries, particularly those in South East Asia, which responded quickly and effectively to the epidemic? Has Covid-19 radically changed our attitude towards risks which threaten the UK and the world?

The panel explored the role of the UK’s national risk register and discussed whether new structures and more funding were needed to insure against emergency. Evan and guests also explored how far poor public health contributed to the UK being ill-prepared to face the pandemic. Guests included: Sir Oliver Letwin, Minister for Preparedness 2010-2016; Sir Mark Walport, UK Chief Scientific Adviser, 2013-17; Professor Sian Griffiths, Emeritus Professor, Chinese University of Hong Kong; and Laura Spinney, science journalist, author of ‘Pale Rider’ about the 1918 flu pandemic.

The second and third episodes of ‘Lessons on a Crisis’ will explore themes of leadership and community resilience.

Read more at BBC News

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