Liverpool news Government says Atletico match decision 'absolutely appropriate' MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Heavily delayed response suggests those in Whitehall were not concerned
Breaking News ! The government believes it was 'absolutely appropriate' for Liverpool's controversial match with Atletico Madrid to go ahead in March, despite a widespread outbreak of coronavirus in Spain at the time. There is a widespread belief that the March 11 tie, which saw 3,000 spanish fans - unable to watch football in their home country because of strict lockdown rules - travel to Liverpool to socialise, stay and watch the match at Anfield. Various health experts and modellers believe there is a strong case that the event may have added to Liverpool's large Covid-19 death toll and the city's public health team are currently investigating any link. The ECHO has been investigating the decision making around the match and its effects for several months and when we asked one of the government's top scientists about it at a Downing Street press conference, we were told that linking the Spanish and Liverpool outbreaks of the disease was an 'interesting hypothesis." But now, a heavily delayed government response suggests those in Whitehall are entirely comfortable with the decision. On April 28, Lord Alton of Liverpool, a former Liverpool MP and current member of the House of Lords asked about the circumstances around deciding the match should go ahead. Read More Related Articles You can get our best stories sent straight to your inbox with our newsletter Read More Related Articles The Liverpool Echo has a free app and here's how to download it His question read: "To ask Her Majesty's Government what scientific advice was sought from Public Health England before the football match between Liverpool and Atlético Madrid on 11 March was permitted to take place; what assessment was made of permitting people to come together for a public event during a period in which Spain had placed its population in partial lockdown; who gave the advice on behalf of Public Health England; and which Ministers were involved in assessing that advice." No answer has been forthcoming for weeks until Lord Alton recently asked why the government had failed to respond. Yesterday in the Lords, James Bethell, a peer and junior minister said he would respond on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
. He said: "The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has advised that a number of sports and other events took place in the period before the Prime Minister announced the lockdown on 23 March. "It was absolutely appropriate for them to do so as it was in line with the public health guidance at the time, and indeed, in line with wider activity in the economy and society more generally. It was also in line with the Government’s border and travel policy. "It is the Government’s absolute priority to protect people's health and our advice to the public is based on direct, continuous consultation with scientific and medical experts.
"There are many factors that could influence the number of cases in a particular area, including population density, age, general health, and the position of an area on the pandemic curve." A study by Edge Health, which analyses health data for the NHS, has conducted modelling and estimated that the Liverpool-Atletico match is linked to 41 extra deaths at local hospitals in our region between 25 and 35 days after the game. And the UK's largest coronavirus tracking project said that Liverpool's controversial match with Atletico Madrid in March 'caused increased suffering and death.' Professor Tim Spector of King's College London said rates of cases locally 'increased several-fold' after the Anfield match.
Source = MetiNews.Com