Covid public inquiry ‘a priority’ if SNP win election

Scotland and the rest of the UK is marking one year since the first coronavirus lockdown.

A public inquiry into the response to Covid-19 will be a priority for the SNP if they form the government after the election, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Scotland and the rest of the UK is marking one year since the first coronavirus lockdown.

A national Day of Reflection saw a minute’s silence at midday and lights will shine from doorsteps at 8pm on Tuesday.

The First Minister said: “Yesterday I met with representatives of families bereaved as a result of Covid, and I pay tribute to their strength and resolve.

“In that discussion, I acknowledged – as I have done before – that the Scottish Government did not get everything right in our response to the pandemic.

“It is vital that we reflect on that and learn lessons – which is why I also confirmed that establishing a statutory public inquiry will be a priority for this government if we are returned at the election.”

Seven deaths of coronavirus patients have been recorded in Scotland in the past 24 hours, according to the latest official figures.

There were 495 new cases in the same period with a daily test positivity rate of 3.6%, down slightly from 3.7% on Monday.

The death toll under the measure used for the daily figures – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – is now 7559.

However, the total including people who had Covid-19 listed as a possible factor on their death certificate is around 10,000.

Scottish Government figures also indicate 341 people in hospital are confirmed to have the virus – down 12 in 24 hours – and of these, 28 patients are in intensive care, down five.

A total of 2,214,672 people received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination as of 7.30am on Tuesday and 235,671 have received their second dose.

Sturgeon paid tribute to healthcare workers and others who have made sacrifices during the pandemic.

The First Minister said: “Many of us, I know, will be thinking especially about our health and care workers.

“We have been reminded once again just how much we owe to their dedication, expertise and compassion.

“No words of thanks can ever be sufficient for the service that has been given over the last year – but I am sure I speak for everyone in the parliament in stressing once again how grateful we are for everything they have done.

“Other public services have also played a crucial role. Our police have enforced tough restrictions proportionately and sensitively. Our teachers have done an outstanding job in difficult – and regularly changing – circumstances.

“Other local authority staff, too, have provided vital help and support to those who most need it. And in some cases – for example the speed with which they helped to protect homeless people – they have provided us with valuable lessons for the future.”

More to follow…

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