Former first minister Nicola Sturgeon tells Covid inquiry Scotland had no plan for non-flu pandemic

On Wednesday, senior Scottish Government officials began giving evidence to the inquiry. Credit: PA Images

Nicola Sturgeon says Scotland had no plan for a non-flu pandemic.

The former first minister, who led Scotland's response to the coronavirus, has given evidence to the Covid-19 inquiry today in London.

She said: "There was no set plan, and that's not the same as saying there was no thinking, into how we dealt with a pandemic that has the features and characteristics of flu in terms of the transmissibility but also the severity and, what we came to understand in terms of the symptomatic transmission, of Covid-19."

"The questions in my mind, literally every day, are not so much did we lack a plan but did we lack capabilities for dealing with a pandemic of the nature of Covid-19.

"And obviously I'm talking about there about contact tracing, testing, infrastructure in particular."

Ms Sturgeon said she "deeply regrets" having to divert resources from emergency planning to plan for the possibility of a no deal Brexit.

She said: "We had no choice but to do that planning. I deeply regret any consequences that had for our emergency planning in other areas."At the start of her evidence, she said: "Every day, the government I led did our best to take the best possible decisions, but equally we did not get everything right."

Ms Sturgeon offered her "sympathies and condolences to all those who suffered as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic".

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