Following the publication of the 2011 preparedness paper, however, the number of ICU beds continued to fall. Then, five years later, government held an unusual and secretive event called Exercise Cygnus.
It involved all government departments, all local authorities, and the NHS, right across the UK. Its report has not been published for “national security reasons” and so as not to “frighten the public”. However, according to those with first-hand knowledge of the operation, Cygnus’ script contained a scenario of a patent lack of capacity in ICU beds and personal protective equipment.
- 16,000 people died because they didn’t get healthcare from March 23 to May 1
- At the same time, 25,000 Britons died of coronavirus at the pandemic’s height
- Of the 16,000, 6,000 were unwell people who were too scared to go to A&E
- It is feared that 81,500 people could die over next 50 years because of lockdown
- In the next five years, 1,400 could die as they were diagnosed with cancer late
- The new figures were presented to the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) in the middle of July.
- They were calculated by the Department of Health, the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the Government Actuary’s Department and the Home Office.
- The 16,000 people who died included 6,000 who didn’t go to A&E during lockdown because they feared catching the virus.
- Another 10,000 people are thought to have died in care homes after early discharge from hospital and a lack of access to care.
- A further 26,000 people could die by next month because of the restrictions, while in total 81,500 people could lose their lives in the next 50 years because of the virus.
- In more bad news, the next five years could see 1,400 people die because they were diagnosed with cancer too late.
- An earlier report by the same team suggested deaths caused by delayed care amid the virus they could be as high as 185,000.
- Professor Neil Mortensen, the president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, warned that the health service ‘must never again be a coronavirus-only service’.