12:48 GMT27 February 2021
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    England’s coronavirus test and trace scheme has officially been launched on Thursday. Members of the public who had tested positive for the coronavirus will now receive messages asking for details about who they have recently been in contact with.

    If the people who the coronavirus patient had been in close proximity to are then subsequently deemed to have a high risk of developing complications from the disease, a fourteen-day quarantine order will be issued.

    But will the British public begin to rebel against Westminster’s policies? Given that the influential figure that is Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Chief political Adviser Dominic Cummings is currently embroiled in a controversy over his decision to flout lockdown rules.

    Political Commentator Keith Rowe reflects on the matter.

    Sputnik: Will the test and trace scheme launched by Westminster prove effective in reducing Coronavirus infection rates?

    Keith Rowe: I think everything helps. I am not convinced that it is the right time to do it, and I think that if you were going to do this; it would have been better to do it much earlier in the chain of the infection, because while the infection is in the process of hopefully dying out both in this country and in many other countries, perhaps trying to get to grips with a programme like this, just maybe that bit too late.

    It never hurts to try, but I’m not convinced that it is a great panacea, and of course, it has crashed this morning; and that doesn’t help it either.

    Sputnik: Will the British public be reluctant to follow orders set out by the government after the Dominic Cummings controversy?

    Keith Rowe: The British public are different in mentality to a lot of European and other countries; we don’t like taking orders from other people. If we can see that there is a good reason for taking an approach, which is a consensual approach; then the British people will play ball with it and go along with it, as they have done, in order to control the coronavirus infection rate.

    I’m not convinced that the British public like taking orders at any time, and I’m not sure that the Dominic Cummings affair has particularly changed anything on that, and I think that after his full explanation the other day, we have got bigger things to concentrate on, so let’s move on.

    A Led by donkeys truck displaying a video of Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, drives by Dominic Cummings' house in London, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 24, 2020.
    © REUTERS / SIMON DAWSON
    A "Led by donkeys" truck displaying a video of Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, drives by Dominic Cummings' house in London, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 24, 2020.

    Sputnik: Could a perceived failure to deal with the coronavirus pandemic affect Boris Johnson’s future as British Prime Minister?

    Keith Rowe: I don’t think that Boris Johnson has failed, I think that he has done his best under very difficult circumstances, and part of the time he has been very seriously ill by all accounts with this virus himself, and I think that he is probably going to come out of this reasonably well.

    He has certainly made mistakes, he has admitted to making mistakes, and after all; this is a whole unique set of circumstances, and nobody is going to get everything right the first time, but I think that in the circumstances, he has done pretty well and the British people are still behind him.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    quarantine, COVID-19, United Kingdom
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