By George Dagless •
Updated: 03 Oct 2023 • 15:56
Covid pandemic blamed as fifty thousand excess deaths reported in UK. Image: Peter_Fleming/Shutterstock.com
The UK’s Covid inquiry has resumed today, as it looks at the government’s handling of the pandemic in the country.
Covid might not be at the levels it once was in the country, with normal life resuming for the majority, but there are still reminders that the virus is here to stay.
Indeed, a report has recently revealed that face masks are going to be mandatory once more in some UK hospitals as we head into the more hectic winter months for the NHS, and the inquiry is resuming to once again bring it to the public conscience.
The focus of the second phase of the inquiry, beginning today, will be on governance and key decision making at a time when the pandemic was at its in the UK.
Baroness Hallett, who is leading the inquiry, began proceedings today by noting bereaved family members outside the hearing centre are a way to “remind us why we are all here,” as per the BBC.
The inquiry is set to hear from four representatives from bereaved families and then key workers, disabled people, and those who have had long Covid.
Hallett says their evidence will “enable us to put the decision making into context and help us establish the extent to which decision makers took into account the interest of such groups and the impact on them when making their decisions”.
During today’s proceedings, though in attendance were also shown a short film of people who have had their lives impacted by Covid.
14 people from across the UK appear in the film to talk about how the pandemic has changed their lives for the worse as part of the 20-minute video.
Hugo Keith KC is also in attendance, and is examining how the government came to decisions over control of the virus, including methods such as lockdowns:
“Did the government serve the people well, or did it fail them?” He asks.
The inquiry has no formal deadline and is due to hold public hearings until 2026.
It will be split into six parts with the first part looking at resilience, preparedness, core UK decision-making, political governance and the impact of Covid on the NHS.
Hearings in 2024 and 2025 will look at the UK care sector, vaccines, anti-viral treatment and government procurement.
Public hearings will be held in all four UK nations.
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