Swimming pools and gyms reopen in England
Swimming pools and gyms reopen in England
PIC: AFP

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has admitted that his government did not understand coronavirus during the "first few weeks and months" of the outbreak in the country, adding that it could have handled the crisis "differently".

Speaking to the BBC to mark the first anniversary of his entering Downing Street, Johnson said on Friday, "We didn't understand (the virus) in the way that we would have liked in the first few weeks and months.

"And I think, probably, the single thing that we didn't see at the beginning was the extent to which it was being transmitted asymptomatically from person to person.

"I think it's fair to say that there are things that we need to learn about how we handled it in the early stages... There will be plenty of opportunities to learn the lessons of what happened.

"Maybe there were things we could have done differently, and of course there will be time to understand what exactly we could have done, or done differently."

The UK went into full lockdown in late March, which critics have said that was too late and cost lives.

Johnson told the BBC that these were still "very open questions as far as (scientists) are concerned, and there will be a time, obviously, to consider all those issues".

He said this was in addition to increased testing and tracing and more procurement of personal protective equipment, adding: "What people really want to focus on now is what are we doing to prepare for the next phase.

Finally, gyms, pools are on

Swimming pools and gyms in England are reopening for the first time since the UK went into lockdown as public health officials extol the benefits of exercise in fighting COVID-19. The government has announced a fresh attack on obesity as part of the move, hoping that a fitter nation might be able to minimize the impact of future waves of the virus. But Jane Nickerson, chief executive of Swim England, says that there had been financial pressure on pools even before the pandemic and without government support many won't open this year - or ever.

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