The long-awaited public inquiry into No10’s handling of the Covid pandemic began today.
It will examine the largest single crisis in the UK’s recent history and offer an honest assessment of the government’s failings.
Almost 200,000 Britons have died from Covid since the virus emerged and many more are facing the health consequences of the pandemic’s impact on the NHS, with delayed cancer diagnoses and record supply backlogs.
It will likely be divided, with some arguing that Britain has been too slow to act while others will argue that the nation has been in economically crippling lockdowns for too long.
Here MailOnline answers all your most important questions about the Covid request.
Baroness Heather Hallett (pictured) is in charge of the wide-ranging investigation. And she’s no stranger to taking on high-profile investigations
Why was the investigation set up?
There has been much criticism of the UK government’s handling of the pandemic, including that the country appeared to lack a thorough plan for dealing with such a major event.
Other criticisms of the government include releasing older people from hospitals into care homes without being tested, going into lockdown too late in March 2020 and failing the multi-billion dollar NHS test and trace.
Families of those who have lost loved ones to Covid have lobbied for an independent inquiry into what happened.
Then Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was right for lessons to be learned. He then announced an investigation in May 2021.
Will Boris Johnson be questioned? If so, when?
It is not clear when or if the former prime minister will be questioned.
However, having been in charge of government throughout the pandemic, his insights will prove central to understanding several aspects of the nation’s response.
When summoned as a witness, he was dragged before the committee to testify.
Public hearings are not scheduled to begin in spring 2023.
Ex-PM Boris Johnson (pictured here jogging last week) is probably one of the biggest figures who may be asked to provide evidence in the Covid inquiry
What other famous faces will be involved?
While no full cast list has been released, many faces that have been thrust into the spotlight during the pandemic are expected to make an appearance.
These could include Sir Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance, known as “Professor Gloom and Dr. Doom”.
Matt Hancock, the former Health Secretary who was forced to resign after breaking social distancing rules by kissing a colleague at the time, and Dominic Cummings, Mr Johnson’s former chief assistant, are also names likely to emerge.
Other famous faces from the pandemic era such as former Health Secretary Matt Hancock and the UK Government’s chief medical adviser Professor Sir Chris Whitty, who frequently appeared during televised Covid briefings, are also said to be called as inquest witnesses
Citizen survey in modern times
A public inquiry is a major inquiry convened by a government minister into a specific event or series of events.
They are reserved for subjects where an issue is determined to be of public importance.
Public inquiries are often announced after sustained campaigning by members of the public.
Here are some of the most notable public inquiries conducted in the UK in modern times:
Police undercover investigation
Reason: concerns about how the police have infiltrated thousands of political groups since 1968.
It was all about seducing women into intimate relationships.
Grenfell Tower Inquiry
Reason: Inquiry into the circumstances leading to and around the devastating Grenfell Tower fire on 14 June 2017.
72 people died as a result of the fire, which spread through the building’s cladding after being started by a malfunctioning refrigerator.
Examination of infected blood
Reason: To investigate circumstances that have infected Britons who have been provided with blood products by the NHS since 1970, often with devastating consequences for their health.
The Litvinenko investigation
Status: Completed (2016)
Reason: investigation into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian spy living in London in 2006.
The investigation revealed that he died after consuming radioactive polonium-210.
It was also found to be deliberate poisoning in an operation “probably sanctioned” by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The investigation may compel witnesses to testify and release documents.
All public evidence is given under oath. This means, as in a courtroom, that a person coming forward as a witness has a legal obligation to tell the truth.
But it cannot prosecute or punish anyone.
What topics does the request cover?
There are currently three major themes, so-called modules, that are taken into account by the research.
Module 1 examines the UK’s resilience and preparedness for a coronavirus pandemic.
Module 2 will examine decisions made by Mr Johnson and his then ministerial team on the advice of the civil service, senior political, scientific and medical advisers and relevant committees.
The decisions taken by Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will also be examined.
Module 3 will examine the impact of Covid on healthcare systems, including on patients, hospitals and other healthcare workers and workers.
This includes the controversial use of “do not attempt” resuscitation cues during the pandemic.
The request may announce other modules during its runtime.
Who is responsible for the request?
Baroness Heather Hallett is leading the wide-ranging investigation. And she’s no stranger to taking on high-profile investigations.
The 72-year-old former Court of Appeal judge has been appointed by Mr Johnson to lead the long-awaited public inquiry into the coronavirus crisis.
Your handling of the investigation will be subject to rigorous scrutiny.
Until Baroness Hallett was asked to step aside, she was acting as coroner in the inquest of Dawn Sturgess, the 44-year-old British woman who died in July 2018 after being exposed to the nerve agent Novichok.
She previously served as coroner investigating the deaths of 52 victims of the 7 July 2005 London bombings.
She also led the investigation into deaths in Iraq as well as the 2014 Hallett review of the management plan for dealing with fugitives in Northern Ireland.
Baroness Hallett, a married mother of two, was nominated for a Life Peerage in 2019 as part of Theresa May’s retirement honors.
How long it will take?
Initiating the terms of the inquiry in May 2021, Mr Johnson said he hoped it could be completed in a “reasonable timeframe”.
Today, Baroness Hallett made it clear that she was determined that the investigation “would not drag on for decades”.
“My main objective is to produce reports and recommendations before another disaster strikes the four nations of the UK and where possible to reduce the number of deaths, suffering and hardship,” she said.
But realistically, it could take years.
The Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War began in 2009, but the final, damning document was not released until 2016.
Meanwhile, the Bloody Sunday investigation lasted about a decade.
Should a similar timeline for the Covid inquiry be repeated it would take the sting out of any criticism of failures by the Tory government.
A report will almost certainly not be released before the next UK general election, which is currently not scheduled for until 2024.
Why was it delayed?
Ministers initially hoped the Covid inquiry would start in the spring.
However, the matters to be investigated by the probe – which experts say will be one of the most complex public inquiries ever – were not formalized until late June.
The investigation could not officially begin until the so-called mandates were confirmed.
Activists were furious at the delays, arguing that it had “once again been pushed to the bottom of the government’s to-do list”.
The Covid inquiry has also been postponed by two weeks following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8. It was supposed to start on September 20th but was pushed back to October 4th.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health-news/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-covid-inquiry-as-delayed-probe-finally-kicks-off/ EVERYTHING you need to know about the Covid investigation as the delayed investigation FINALLY begins