PUBLISHED: 16:44, Fri, Sep 11, 2020 | UPDATED: 16:44, Fri, Sep 11, 2020
The former Shadow Justice Secretary branded the Government's approach to fighting coronavirus as "unmitigated disastrous", with the death toll now edging towards 42,000 - the fifth highest in the world. He also lashed out at the lack of clarity in messaging from Downing Street over recent weeks, warning "cases are soaring again at a very worrying rate", also attacking ministers for blaming the younger generation for a rise in coronavirus cases. Writing for the Labour list website, Mr Burgon said: "The Government’s approach to fighting coronavirus has been an unmitigated disaster, leaving us with one of the highest death tolls in the world.
"It’s heartbreaking to think that tens of thousands of lives could have been saved had we kept the death rate to the levels seen in Germany, South Korea or New Zealand.
"Cases are soaring again at a very worrying rate. Appallingly, rather than take responsibility, the Government has sought to blame young people for the rise in coronavirus infections and claim that the shortage of tests is caused by people getting tested unnecessarily.
"The current vacillating strategy and blame-shifting games can’t go on. While the government’s new ‘hands, face, space’ message and the ban on gatherings of more than six people will all help, it’s not a solution in and of itself."
But Mr Burgion has been destroyed after suggesting the UK should adopt a "zero COVID approach" - one he claimed has been successfully implemented in countries such as China.
Richard Burgon has been mocked after suggesting the UK should copy the strategy employed by China (Image: GETTY)
Thw Labour MP lashed out at the Government's handling of the coronavirus crisis (Image: GETTY)
He said: "Along with a number of my colleagues, I believe it’s time for a ‘zero COVID’ strategy of the kind advocated by Independent SAGE to eliminate the virus, and as other countries such as New Zealand have successfully implemented.
"If we don’t manage to get the virus under control, we’ll just continue to flit from one crisis to another.
"A zero COVID approach is the way we can return to something more like normality. But it means the emphasis must be on eliminating the virus, not living with it.
“The results of those countries pursuing a zero COVID strategy are remarkable. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s latest worldwide report, the UK had 26,000 confirmed COVID cases over the past 14 days. In contrast, New Zealand has had 90, China 316, Iceland 71, Vietnam 25 and Thailand 50."