Embarrassed Whitehall chumps have admitted that they ordered vast quantities of software from an antivirus specialist to prevent the nation’s computer systems being destroyed by the Ebola virus, ignorant of the fact that the virus was a human infection.
Last night officials were insisting that the correct procedures had been followed whilst recognising that the antivirus software was “probably ineffective” against the killer virus currently rampaging in West Africa.
“A meeting of the Government crisis committee, Cobra, insisted that every precaution was taken against the virus and a memo was circulated to every department,” explained a spokesman, speaking from a four week fact finding trip to Chianti. “Unfortunately, everyone in the Department of Health was on holiday except for an intern who acted on their initiative and ordered the computer virus protection.”
According to the spokesman, the intern, a relative of the prominent peer Lord Elpus, looked up virus on the department’s database and found criticism that insufficient stocks of Tamiflu were ordered during the Swine Flu crisis. They then decided to order the software as a sensible precaution.
“Of course this shouldn’t have happened,” continued the spokesman, “but the intern didn’t realise that no one is allowed to act on their own initiative in Whitehall, and certainly nothing should be actioned for at least twelve months, however urgent.”
Apparently, officials are planning to offload the unwanted software by including it in medical relief packs destined for Africa along with a consignment of cassette players, bowler hats and frostbite cream.