Scientists give evidence on Government's handling of Covid pandemic

It comes after Scotland's national clinical director Jason Leitch faced calls to be sacked.

The UK Covid Inquiry is hearing evidence from scientists regarding the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

It comes after Scotland’s national clinical director faced calls to be sacked after it emerged he deleted WhatsApp messages during the pandemic.

On Tuesday, Jason Leitch told the UK Covid-19 Inquiry that he deleted WhatsApp messages in line with the Scottish Government’s policy on the use and retention of informal messaging.

The inquiry also heard that, in November 2021, Leitch gave then-health secretary Humza Yousaf advice on how to remain exempt from wearing a mask at a function by holding a drink.

On Wednesday, the Inquiry will hear from Mark Woolhouse, professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, Stephen Reicher, professor of psychology at the University of St Andrews, Dr Pablo Grez at the University of Strathclyde, and Susan McVie, professor of quantitative criminology at the University of Edinburgh.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government is committed to responding to both the UK and Scottish Covid-19 inquiries, as learning lessons from the pandemic is vital to prepare for the future.

“It would be inappropriate to comment on the detail of evidence being considered by the UK Covid Inquiry while hearings are ongoing.”

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