From hospitals to care homes to community testing, the first wave of Covid-19 infections was met with unprecedented national efforts but also with panic, errors and delays. As infections begin to rise again, is the country better prepared?
When the UK went into a national lockdown in March, it was a desperate bid to slow the spread of Covid-19 and protect the NHS from collapse. Very little was known about the best way to treat those infected, and testing was almost non-existent in the community. But six months on, with infections rising once more, is the country in a better state of preparedness to face a new wave of coronavirus cases?
Joining Anushka Asthana today are four of the Guardian’s expert reporters. Denis Campbell, health policy editor, looks at the NHS and the measures it has taken to prepare for a winter crisis like no other it has faced. Robert Booth, social affairs correspondent, reports on the state of care homes, where a disaster played out over the summer resulting in thousands of premature deaths. The health editor, Sarah Boseley, takes a closer look at the UK’s coronavirus testing regime with widespread reports of demand vastly outstripping supply. Finally, the science editor, Ian Sample, explores the best hope for a lasting solution to the crisis: a vaccine, but warns that a mass vaccination programme is still some way off.