Set up public inquiry immediately to “learn lessons now” from Covid-19 response
A “no stone unturned” investigation into the COVID-19 pandemic response in Wales must start immediately, Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price has said.
The judicial inquiry would run in parallel with a UK judge-led inquiry and its initial findings would be ready by the end of summer.
Mr Price said “learning lessons to better inform future responses and improve decision-making is more important than apportioning blame.”
He added that the central themes of the inquiry should include:
- What was our level of preparedness, and how we can do better?
- Was valuable time lost from January, e.g. in planning for PPE/testing?
- Should lockdown measures have been applied earlier?
- What explains the higher mortality rate compared to other countries?
- Was the dropping of testing and tracing in mid-March justified?
Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price said;
“COVID-19 may be with us for some time – so waiting for the crisis to be over till we learn the lessons may push back the final report to many years in the future.
“The risk of a second wave is real and without a vaccine, we could face a very difficult winter.
“We need to learn lessons now. Establishing an inquiry right away into how the Welsh Government responded would mean work could begin immediately while memories are fresh and initial findings could be ready by the end of the summer.
“A parallel UK inquiry could also look at questions which relate to reserved areas like border controls, police powers and the economic response. But Wales could set the agenda by announcing its inquiry in advance, setting an example to the UK Government which it would be compelled to follow.
“Learning lessons to better inform future responses and improve decision-making is more important than apportioning blame.
“Such an inquiry should leave no stone unturned in answering, difficult questions fully and frankly. The people of Wales – especially those directly affected by the tragic consequences of the pandemic – will expect nothing less.”