In the UK, a lethal pandemic was considered by the government a “level 5” threat – the most serious security risk. The only other level 5 threat has been large-scale biological or nuclear attack.
The coronavirus closely resembles the threat anticipated in government planning documents, and yet the government appears to have been unprepared. The UK lacks ventilators, personal protective equipment and testing kits, while emergency procedures for manufacturers and hospitals are being improvised on the fly.
In the New Statesman, Harry Lambert suggests that Britain may in fact have been prepared, just for the wrong outcome.