Needless to say, most people I spoke to were keen to avoid talking about political responses! However, it was clear that many felt that preparedness had two components – physical, and political.
“I think very few countries around the world were prepared for this,” Soren Bregenholt from Macrophage Pharma thought. “There have been few examples of countries that have had both the infrastructural preparedness and the political courage to move quickly. Denmark, for example, had the political courage to move quicklyI think, but initially lacked importantparts of the testing infrastructure to capitalise on that.”
I couldn’t find anyone who thought the UK had been adequately prepared, but everyone was rightly wary of judging while we are still very much in the midst of the situation. There will be a lot of in-depth analysis of preparedness, reactions, and decisions taken once we are out the other side.
On a positive note, there will be much to learn about and improve upon as a result of COVID-19. “As well as the challenges, there will be opportunities to learn and develop as a result of COVID-19. “In health R&D I think quite a lot has been achieved in a short space of time,” a business leadercommented. “We will be learning how we can be more agile in future pandemics, and how some of the innovations and technology assets that have been developed could be directed for future health needs. I think this will lead to further innovation and opportunities in the community.”