OFFICIALS appear to be ruling out a review of how the coronavirus outbreak at a Herefordshire farm was handled.

This smacks of complacency, and a re-think is in order.

One hundred and 34 people tested positive for Covid-19 at Rook Row Farm, Mathon, near Ledbury, this month.

It was a public health emergency of profound significance: the first of its kind since coronavirus put Britain into lockdown in March.

RELATED NEWS: Officials rule out review into handling of outbreak at farm

There are several unanswered questions about the outbreak, chiefly:

  • How did coronavirus first arrive at the farm?
  • What measures were in place to prevent those isolating from leaving?
  • Has there been any transmission from the farm to the wider community?
  • Were local people adequately informed about what was happening?

It is critical that these points and others are addressed with full transparency.

Refusing to do so risks undermining public confidence in the ability of the authorities to handle incidents of this scale.

Perhaps more importantly it also represents a missed opportunity to look critically at the response of all agencies involved, and in so doing learn lessons that may be of help to others.

RELATED NEWS: All our stories about the Covid-19 outbreak at the farm

In first calling for such a review on July 16 we made no criticism of the way the outbreak was handled.

Nor do we now. But this is too important to be dismissed with a collective shrug of the shoulders and the sentiment, expressed by Herefordshire Council’s director of public health Karen Wright, that everything was done correctly, and that there are no questions to answer here.

HAVE YOUR SAY: Do you think a review of how things were handled is necessary?