Has our government been slow to react to the coronavirus pandemic?

A poll published over the weekend revealed something like 70 per cent of those who responded thought Boris Johnson was doing a good job of managing the country’s response.

Pity they didn’t ask me what I thought.

In my view, every new step to protect the nation has been too little, too late with muddled messages and poor communication emanating from the top.

We had the evidence of what was happening in China, Italy, South Korea and Iran early on and could have responded accordingly but you only have to go back a couple of weeks to March 11 to see a failure of leadership in this country.

On that day, the World Health Organisation declared Covid-19 a pandemic, the health service in Italy (apparently one of the best in the world) was overrun and unable to cope.

Doctors were having to make ‘battlefield’ decisions, knowingly allowing some people to die in order to treat those with a better chance of survival. In Iran, Covid-19 was ripped through the country.

Yes, all the evidence was there for everyone to see. So what happened here on March 11? Were we social distancing? No. Were we self-isolating? No. Were we in any form of lockdown? No.

On March 11, Liverpool hosted Atletico Madrid at Anfield in a Champions League game.

Madrid is the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in Spain and at the time that game took place, Atletico were already playing their home games behind closed.

No wonder then there were worries about whether it was a great idea to allow the 3,000 Spanish supporters to fly into a major British city where, as the BBC reported, ‘they would eat, drink, mingle and sleep’.

And eat, drink, mingle and sleep they did. Who knows how many were infected and how many more have subsequently tested positive?

Sadly, we’re unlikely to ever know the answer to that because unlike other countries, the testing regime in the UK has been pitifully inadequate. Not even front-line NHS staff have been tested enough, which is something that shames this country and government.

It looks to me as though the only time you can get a coronavirus test is if you are the Prime Minister, the Prince of Wales or if you’re dead in hospital so you can be added to the official statistics.

So do I think the government’s response to the crisis has been timely and comprehensive? Absolutely not, and it looks like I’m not alone in that view. Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has revealed that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp branded the decision to allow the Champions League tie against Atletico to go ahead as a ‘criminal act.’

According to the Daily Mirror, Ancelotti told Corriere dello Sport that Klopp was unhappy the match was allowed to take place because of the seriousness of the ongoing Covid-19 situation.

The Everton boss is reported to have said: “I spoke with Klopp a few days ago, he told me that the decision to play Liverpool-Atletico was a criminal act and I think he’s right.”

And so do I.

Always too little, too late with this government. I hope there will be a reckoning when all this is over.

And there are some people for whom that reckoning can’t come soon enough – the scammers.

Never ones to miss an opportunity to part the fearful from their money, the scammers have come up with new and frankly disgusting scams.

Police in Frodsham tweeted that the Red Cross has advised that there are people visiting elderly residents in the town stating they belong to Red Cross, offering to test for the Covid-19 virus and charge them for the test.

But the Red Cross has advised it is not doing any home tests and Cheshire Police have asked people to look out for their elderly neighbours.

And according to the website lovemoney.com, Action Fraud has reported seeing a host of Corona-related scams preying on the fears of people over the virus.

In many cases, these have revolved around selling products related to self-protection for items such as face masks and hand sanitiser. Victims have been tricked into spending money on these products, only for them to never arrive.

Even more worrying, there have also been reports of fake testing kits that contain dangerous chemicals. So not only have you wasted money on something that doesn’t work, it may make you ill in the process.

Other online scams include fake ‘live infections’ update messages; fake coronavirus newsletters; fake coronavirus investment and trading mails; and fake tax refund messages, as well as free school meals scams.

There’s a special place in Hell for the people behind these scams, scum doesn’t come close to what I think about them.