‘We have to remember, learn and prepare’: Is the UK ready for the next pandemic?

With more than 146,000 people now dead from Covid-19 in the UK, it seems unthinkable that this scale of mortality and suffering – driven by an unseen, silent killer – could return in our lifetime.

But one year on from the anniversary of Britain’s first lockdown, at a time when many are reflecting upon what has been lost since the onset of this crisis, the threat of another pandemic remains high as ever – irrespective of the devastation wrought by coronavirus.

As globalisation, urbanisation and deforestation brings man and the dark side of nature into closer contact, the chances of infectious spillover continue to rise.

“We will see more outbreaks” in the years to come, warns Professor Sarah Gilbert, the scientist behind the Oxford vaccine.

Experts have told The Independent that now is the time to start preparing for the “next big one” and ensure future generations are better equipped to dealing with these outbreaks.

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