BORIS Johnson and his Cabinet are supposedly in charge yet increasingly the coronavirus health crisis is being left to the British people to manage.

Sports organisations are unilaterally taking decisions - the London Marathon, the Football League - because of government inaction.

Why is the UK operating a coronavirus strategy so different from other countries?

A decade and more of austerity has severely compromised our country’s capacity to deal with such a major health crisis. For example, the UK has fewer intensive care beds than the majority of developed countries: beds essential for the treatment of serious coronavirus cases.

Suddenly the Government is focused on the production of ventilators to fill the huge gap in intensive care. Why was this not done months ago? Forward planning is surely what ministers and their officials are for.

Boosting private hospitals with publicly funded ventilators is deliberately undermining the NHS.

The British coronavirus strategy now is designed to use the UK population as a buffer, for it to absorb the effects of the virus and allow up to 80 per cent of the population to become infected so the country develops “herd immunity” for future years. The side effect of that will be, as the Prime Minister said, families will “lose loved ones”.

Elsewhere in other countries those loved ones could be saved. South Korea has tested more than 240,000 potential coronavirus cases; its fatality rate is under one per cent.

Government ministers and MPs are being awarded higher pay rises, yet they expect the biggest health care crisis in a generation to be DIY-managed by the British public.

A passenger flying in from Milan, in the midst of the Italian coronavirus outbreak, was amazed to find the airport in Britain had no checks, no tests, not even enquiries.

Why are foreign governments being so much more proactive than Johnson & co ? Why is Britain being allowed to drift deeper and deeper into the worst health crisis for 100 years?

Andrew Milroy