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Britain’s Coronavirus Gamble

Panorama investigates the scientific advice the government followed in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.

Politicians from the prime minister down have assured us their response to the coronavirus pandemic has been 'guided by the science’. But the science has been hotly contested. The World Health Organisation urged countries to stamp out infections as soon as they developed, but the UK government's initial scientific advice said the route out of the crisis was for most of us to catch the virus so we could develop herd immunity.

Panorama reporter Dr Faye Kirkland asks whether this was a dangerous gamble with people’s lives or a sound scientific approach. Faced with a growing backlash and warnings that the NHS was close to being overwhelmed, politicians denied that herd immunity was the policy, and within a few days Britain pivoted to a new strategy – lockdown. Now, as we try to emerge from that lockdown, Panorama investigates what those early decisions could mean for our future.

29 minutes

Last on

Sat 25 Jul 2020 01:25


Role Contributor
Reporter Faye Kirkland
Director Leo Telling
Producer Leo Telling
Executive Producer Karen Wightman
Editor Rachel Jupp


  • Mon 20 Jul 2020 19:30
  • Mon 20 Jul 2020 20:30
  • Fri 24 Jul 2020 03:30
  • Sat 25 Jul 2020 01:25