COVID-19 has proven that the UK needs to up its technology game
The UK's disappointing response to COVID-19 has been the subject of global fascination. Despite sufficient warning after Italy and France's grappling with the virus (as well as Italy's own urging for the UK to act), the UK dithered and bumbled until finally locking down, 10-14 days after it should have. The delay came at the tragic cost of thousands of lives, quickly making it one of Europe's hardest hit countries. Today, it is only second to Russia.
The UK has continued sleepwalking through the crisis, and in turn has created one fiasco after another. Late lockdowns, a £16,000,000 expenditure on tests that didn't work, an unmet promise of testing capacity to reach 100,000 a day within a month – the UK has made its fair share of mistakes.
While some of the blunders are out of anyone's control, some could have been saved. A common theme underpinning some UK/COVID fiascoes is the poorly thought-out use of technology. As can be observed around the globe, some countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Taiwan, were able to action technology to minimise the impact of the virus. While its unfair to assume that the UK should have had the foresight to reinforce a digital infrastructure ahead of a pandemic of unprecedented scale, the region has still let valuable opportunities slip through its fingers by not considering its technology well enough.