Covid Inquiry: Nicola Sturgeon says she did not take decisions for political reasons

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The inquiry’s now finished for the day – but before it ended we heard questions from lawyer Kevin McCaffrey, acting on behalf of the Scottish Covid Bereaved group. Here’s a summary of what was said:

Q: He asked Sturgeon why she thought releasing people from hospitals to care homes, but only testing those with symptoms, provided any protection at all.

A: Sturgeon said there were concerns hospitals weren’t a safe place for vulnerable people who didn’t need to be there. The advice at that time, she said, was that isolation was the best way to protect people in care homes.

Q: Sturgeon was asked to give more details about the situation in care homes.

A: She said there were significant issues, including testing, and admitted that her government didn’t do everything right which she “deeply regrets”.

Q: The former first minister was asked about visits to care homes during the pandemic.

A: “That was an issue where we were always trying to strike a balance between opening up … and guarding against infection,” she said. “I don’t think we got that right … but it was not because we didn’t try.”

Q: Sturgeon was asked what she would’ve done differently.

A: Getting emotional again, she said she wishes she could “turn the clock back and do things that would have reduced the loss of life in care homes”, but added that it wouldn’t have changed the fact people in hospitals were still at risk.

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