UK government urged to set date for public inquiry into Covid

The UK government is being urged to publish a timetable for a public inquiry into the coronavirus and to ensure it reflects the diversity of the UK population.

Groups such as the TUC and Bereaved Families for Justice have called for an immediate announcement of a start date for the investigation, saying it should be no later than April next year.

A date would “help those who have lost the most to begin to feel that there will be an explanation ahead for the loss,” the groups said in a letter to the prime minister.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “With reports that Downing Street threw a Christmas party last year while the rest of us followed the rules and didn’t see family and close friends, we urgently need to come to an agreement. ‘ public survey.

“Our key workers – teachers, nurses and delivery drivers – have helped Britain through the pandemic, but they have been abandoned by the government.

“Years of cuts to public services have made the fight against the pandemic more difficult. Our hospitals and care homes were understaffed and lacked proper PPE, and the UK’s broken sickness benefit system seriously undermined the public health effort.

“We owe it to our key employees and those who have passed away to take an adamant look at what went wrong. And to see how we can better prepare for pandemics in the future.

“The government must continue to announce the start date of the investigation and to speak to unions, bereaved families and other stakeholders. “

Jo Goodman, co-founder of Covid-19 Bereved Families for Justice, said: “We have been calling for more than 18 months for an investigation to be opened so that lessons can be learned to protect the lives of others. It’s hard to explain how frustrating it is to be faced with the Omicron variant which has been continuously ignored and knowing that lives could be in danger unnecessarily as a result.

“Everyone agrees that this survey must be focused on learning the lessons that will save as many lives as possible in the future. This means that he must place in his heart those who have been most affected, which of course includes those who have tragically lost loved ones.

“It should also include regular interim reports so that lessons can be learned as it progresses and gets started as early as possible, so that no more time is wasted.

“From the events of the past few days, it is clear that only an investigation will restore confidence and transparency in time to learn lessons and save lives. This investigation will be the largest in British history and we simply cannot afford to be wrong.

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