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Welsh government slow to debate Covid threat, inquiry told

Welsh government slow to debate Covid threat, inquiry told

Welsh government slow to debate Covid threat, inquiry told
Feb 27, 2024 56 secs

The Welsh government’s cabinet did not discuss the threat posed by Covid as the virus spread across the world until a month after its chief medical officer had warned there was a “significant risk” it would reach Wales, the inquiry into the pandemic has heard.

The Labour-led government was also accused of “a massive failure of infection control” when it allowed patients to be discharged from hospitals into care homes without being tested.

The Welsh leg of the UK Covid inquiry began with a moving film in which families described losing relatives to the virus and survivors revealed how it had affected them.

Detailing the chronology of the pandemic, Poole said on 24 January 2020 the Welsh government was warned by its chief medical officer, Frank Atherton, that there was a “significant risk” Covid would reach Wales.

He said Welsh Labour called off its spring 2020 conference but was still prepared to allow 70,000 people to gather in Cardiff for a Wales v Scotland rugby game on 14 March.

Poole said: “We will examine the extent to which divergence was based on proper advice … whether points of difference were substantive or merely cosmetic.”

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