Dr Helen Salisbury, a Keep Our NHS Public member who previously gave evidence to the Inquiry, explains why she is so angry about the Government's strategy.
The People's Covid Inquiry is set to ask: Did the Government adopt the right public health strategy?, in the next session, taking place at 7pm on 24 March 2021.
Thousands have already watched the first two sessions of the Inquiry, which seeks to find answers to many of the questions people have about the COVID-19 pandemic, and are able to re-watch on our YouTube channel.
Taking place exactly a year after the first lockdown was implemented in the UK the Inquiry panel will hear witnesses including Professor Anthony Costello, former Director at the WHO and member of Independent SAGE, Professor Michael Baker from the Department of Public Health, University of Otago, New Zealand, Rehana Azam, national secretary GMB Union and Janet Harris of Sheffield Community Contact Tracing Group, as they seek answers to whether or not the Government adopted the right strategy to tackle the pandemic, then and now.
One year on
The UK had its first case on 31 January 2020 and early testing and contact tracing were started with a minimal workforce in relaxed fashion. The first person-to-person transmission was identified on 28 February which should have dramatically escalated concerns. The Cheltenham horse racing festival went ahead on 10-13 March indicating a very different government response.
When the first lockdown was announced on 23 March 2020 the total number of recorded deaths linked to coronavirus in the UK stood at 335 on that date. There have now been 143,259 deaths, according to Government reported figures.
Contact tracing was abandoned on 12 March 2020, with the spread of coronavirus already out of control. Though community testing was later introduced, way past the first peak meaning many still do not know whether they have had coronavirus, the test and trace still isn't working and there is little support for those who have to isolate. Recently, a report showed that despite £37 billion being spent on a privatised test and trace system, the broken system had no impact on overall rates of COVID-19 in the UK.
What we will ask
The Panel featuring Michael Mansfield QC, chair, Professor Neena Modi, Dr Tolullah Oni, Dr Jacky Davis and Lorna Hackett Barrister as Counsel to the Inquiry will examine the strategy planned by the Government and its timing.
It will question the validity of a 'herd immunity' strategy that politicians with no scientific background proposed and whether or not a Zero Covid strategy could have been effective here in the UK. The Inquiry will also ask about the relative impacts of different strategies on children and young people, schools and other public services.
More details about the session can be found on the People's Covid Inquiry website.
There are a number of ways you can take part in the third session of the People's Covid Inquiry.
First, you can register by signing up for our Zoom session.
Secondly, please take part in our survey and let us know your experiences of the pandemic, so we can include them in the evidence presented to the Inquiry.
Finally, make sure you don't miss out on updates on the People's Covid Inquiry, and other campaigns from Keep Our NHS Public by signing up to our newsletter.