I recently received a letter from South Dorset MP Richard Drax in which he stated that ‘national lockdowns simply do not work, and we have plenty of evidence to show that to be the case’.

However, he did not provide a shred of this evidence.

Data from the first lockdown in March 2020 shows that while average daily infections were between 2,000 and 3,000 when the UK entered lockdown on 23 March, they had gone down to between 300 and 400 by July.

Admittedly, a few countries have been successful without a lockdown but, unlike the UK, they were proactive in taking preventative measures.

For example,Taiwan acted early (in late 2019) starting on-board flight inspections of passengers from Wuhan.

However, we were never in that situation. Only now, 15 months after Taiwan acted are we introducing regulated isolation at our borders!

By the time the UK formally announced a first lockdown almost two months of potential preparation and prevention time had been squandered.

In June, the government’s former scientific advisor, Professor Neil Ferguson, said that implementing a nationwide lockdown even one week earlier could have saved as many as 20,000 lives.

So it appears that it is not that lockdowns don’t work but rather the way and speed with which they are implemented.

Research has shown that rapid use of circuit breakers though October could have stemmed the wave of infections and mortalities we now see.

Lockdown will not work by itself.

The government is currently doing around 800,000 tests per day (data from 3 Feb) but data has regularly shown the system is still failing to reach a sizeable number of contacts, and even when people are reached they are not isolating: Dido Harding, test and trace chief, said this was as many as 20,000 people per day.

I await to see Mr Drax’s ‘plenty of evidence’, without which his assertion is both empty and dangerous.


Amelia Close, Portland