BBC QT: Heartbroken guest admits she doesn’t ‘feel proud’ celebrating VE Day over pandemic

BBC QT: Heartbroken guest admits she doesn’t ‘feel proud’ celebrating VE Day over pandemic

Host Fiona Bruce spoke to guests including Chris Hopson, Chief Executive of NHS Providers, and George Eustice, Environment Secretary during Thursday’s episode. Viewer Margaret Collins called in to ask a question at the start of the show concerning the UK’s death toll, when she made the heartbreaking point that she doesn’t think there’s not much to celebrate. She said: “I read that according to statistics from John Hopkins University, Sweden has 28 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, Norway has four deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, Denmark has 8.7, Finland has 4.5.

“Even the USA has less than the UK at 21.7.

“So they’re all lower than the UK which has a nationwide lockdown, and the toll is significantly higher at 44.4 per 100,000 inhabitants.

“My question is why and how did the government let this happen when we had advance warning of their figures coming out of other countries?

“As a country we are supposed to be celebrating VE Day tomorrow, but who feels like celebrating?

“I don’t feel particularly proud of being British when I see figures like that.”

Chris Hopson was called on first by Fiona Bruce to answer the question, where he said caution was needed when looking at the data.

When asked about what he thought of the figures, he said: “It’s very concerning if you look at the levels of mortality that we have in this country.

“When I talk to my public health colleagues, what they say to me is be ‘very careful about making international comparisons at this point.’

“Because there are a number of different reasons as to why different countries may have different death rates.”

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George Eustice also fielded a question regarding how the government’s coronavirus contact tracking app would work.

He said: “The idea is that people will go onto the app, they will enter their phone number and their post code, with no other personal details by the way.

“If their mobile phone is in contact for a certain length of time, which is being trialled and piloted now, with other mobile phones in that area and that person subsequently shows symptoms and reports them, then those other people who have been in close or regular contact with that person will receive a notification.

“While the duration I seer to be decided, those who receive a notification “should then self-isolate.”

The show aired after Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to announce plans for England’s lockdown on Sunday.

Ministers have insisted short term changes to measures will be “modest”.

At the government’s daily briefing, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab described media reports on easing restrictions as “not a reliable guide”.

He added that changes may vary between the different nations.

Published at Fri, 08 May 2020 00:42:00 +0000