The UK Covid inquiry will hear testimony from Catherine Calderwood

Catherine C. Wood

The UK inquiry into the handling of the pandemic will hear testimony from Scotland's former chief medical officer, who resigned after breaking her own Covid lockdown rules.

Jeane Freeman, who served as the Scottish health secretary during lockdown, will be present at the inquiry on Wednesday in addition to Dr. Catherine Calderwood.

Both John Swinney and Nicola Sturgeon will testify on Thursday.

The purpose of the inquiry was to look into how the UK handled the virus.

Public hearings are anticipated to last until 2026, and they will also examine the effects of the pandemic and the lessons that can be drawn for upcoming viral outbreaks.

After its original chairwoman left for personal reasons and four members of the inquiry's legal team also resigned, a separate Scottish inquiry that will specifically examine the effects of the virus north of the border has been delayed.

In April 2020, two weeks after the UK-wide lockdown was enacted on March 23, Dr. Calderwood submitted his resignation as chief medical officer.

She had received a police warning for breaking the law by taking her family on two trips to her second home in Earlsferry, Fife.

The distance between the property and her primary residence in Edinburgh was over an hour.

In order to save lives and safeguard the NHS, the chief medical officer had fronted radio and TV advertisements urging the public to stay at home. She also participated in daily televised media briefings with Nicola Sturgeon.

Nicola Sturgeon and Dr Catherine Calderwood
In the early stages of the pandemic, Dr. Calderwood and Nicola Sturgeon frequently participated in live TV briefings.

Initially, Ms. Sturgeon, the nation's first minister at the time, expressed a desire for Dr. Calderwood to continue in her position; however, she ultimately decided to resign in order to avoid being a "distraction" from efforts to persuade the public to heed social distancing advice.

Dr. Calderwood expressed her "deep regret" for her actions and errors in her resignation statement.

A year later, she was given another important position within the NHS when she was named national clinical director of the brand-new Centre for Sustainable Delivery at the Golden Jubilee hospital in Clydebank.

A salary of between £85,000 and £112,000 was said to be offered for the position.

Formerly a consultant obstetrician and gynecologist, Dr. Calderwood. She had been chosen to serve as the nation's chief medical officer in that year.

Together with Ms. Freeman, who served as Scotland's health secretary from May 20, 2018, until her resignation as an MSP in advance of the Scottish Parliament election, they will both testify in front of the inquiry on Wednesday.

jeane freeman
When the pandemic started, Jeane Freeman made the decision to transfer hospital patients to nursing homes without testing them. She has since expressed regret for this action.

Despite having previously defended the UK-wide lockdown as an "absolute necessity" in the early stages of the pandemic, Ms. Freeman has now expressed regret over the Scottish government's decision to discharge so many hospital patients into care facilities without first having them tested for the virus.

They will be followed on Thursday by Ms. Sturgeon and Mr. Swinney, her former deputy, who will answer inquiries about the measures taken by the Scottish government to deal with a pandemic.

Both are anticipated to appear before the investigation once more in the future.

The inquiry has received legal submissions from attorneys for Scottish bereaved families requesting the provision of all of Ms. Sturgeon's unredacted WhatsApp messages as well as other pertinent documents.

Former UK health secretary Matt Hancock gave his first testimony to the inquiry on Tuesday and criticized the nation's preparations for a pandemic before Covid, saying they were too focused on treating deaths rather than preventing them.

Following the discovery of the first cases at the beginning of 2020, approximately 227,000 people in the UK passed away with Covid listed as one of the causes on their death certificates, including more than 17,000 in Scotland.

By February 2022, it was predicted that more than 44 million people would have contracted the virus.

  • Going through what occurred and drawing lessons from it are the goals.
  • There won't be any convictions or exonerations.
  • Governments are not obligated to follow any recommendations made.
  • The investigation has no set end date but is scheduled to hold public hearings until 2026.
  • In addition to the UK-wide investigation, a separate one is being conducted in Scotland.

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