Wednesday 16 December 2020



In October 2016, a few weeks after David Cameron walked away and Theresa May our became Prime Minister, the government ran an exercise to test Britain's preparedness to deal with a pandemic.   

The findings were that we were woefully unprepared.

The exercise, called Cygnus, made six recommendations, relating to:

  1. Capacity; such as availability of ICU beds, PPE etc:
  2. Planning; delegation and regional co-ordination etc:
  3. Education; what to do about schools, colleges and universities:
  4. Care homes - yes, they were thought about:
  5. Communications:
  6. Social distancing.

The report was not published at the time and efforts to gain access to it have produced only heavily redacted versions.

The report was shelved and the recommendations largely ignored.  Though at the time related to influenza, they are, of course highly relevant to dealing with the Covid-19 or any other pandemic.

 Such details as are available can be found here:

 Note, the Daily Torygraph.  This blog uses varied sources.

In his Reith Lecture this morning, Mark Carney, immediate ex-Governor of the Bank of England commented, if I heard him correctly, that the cost of implementation of the recommendations would have been equivalent to two days of lockdown.  That's the monetary cost.  

The cost in lives is estimated to have been at least 20 000

 Note that this same political party, with its cheese-paring polices of cutting public expenditure and thus running down the state, including the health services, were in charge at the time, have been ever since, and will probably be for the next four years.

 Pity Mrs May wasn't in the Girl Guides and that Boris Johnson frittered away his youth in the Bullingdon Club rather than the Boy Scouts. 




  1. And will this EVER be printed in the Daily Torygraph?

  2. I mean printed in it AGAIN!
    Also it could do with being WIDELY printed AND put on the internet.

    1. To be fair I think the Telegraph did well to to publish and comment on so much of the report, and the redactions, back them. I do agree with you that, when there is a thorough public enquiry into the government's handling of the pandemic, this particular feature will be exposed yet again and hammered home by all the media. The combination of inaction followed by secrecy exposes the worst features of this policy of running down the state.

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