Boris Johnson admits ‘many things we wish we’d done differently’ during pandemic

Boris Johnson has admitted that there are “many things” he wishes his administration had done differently in the fight against Covid-19, as his chief medical officer acknowledged that the UK’s performance in the pandemic represents “a bad outcome” internationally.

Speaking on the anniversary of the first coronavirus lockdown, Mr Johnson told a Downing Street press conference that he would personally be dealing with this “deeply difficult and distressing period” for as long as he lives.

As the nation lit candles in remembrance of those lost to the virus, chief medical officer Chris Whitty cited new official figures showing that 147,179 people had died from the disease, adding: “More will do so, but we are now on the downward slope.”

While stressing it was difficult to make comparisons between different countries’ performance in dealing with Covid, Prof Whitty said: “The general point is we had a bad outcome. Many other countries had a bad outcome. What we want to try to do is to minimise mortality in the future and learn lessons from the past.”

Mr Johnson again declined to name a date for the public inquiry which he has promised into the handling of the pandemic, and refused to be drawn on whether he could have saved lives by locking down more quickly in common with other countries around the world.

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