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Covid inquiry first preliminary hearing to begin

The first preliminary hearing of the UK Covid public inquiry will begin today.

The session, in London, will focus on the UK's pandemic preparedness before 2020. It will be largely procedural, involving lawyers and an announcement about who will be giving evidence. Public hearings where witnesses are called will not start until the spring.

The inquiry formally started in the summer, with a listening exercise.

But this first preliminary hearing is still being seen as an important milestone for the families who lost loved ones.

Lindsay Jackson's mother, Sylvia, 87, died from Covid during the first lockdown, after contracting it at a care home.

Ms Jackson, of the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice campaign group, said it was essential lessons were learned.

She was "really pleased" the inquiry was finally starting but it had taken too long to reach this stage. 

"It's two-and-a-half years since the pandemic started," she said.

"We lost so many people. If people have done things wrong, they need to be held accountable.

"For me, my family and the others who lost loved ones, it's important that answers are found to the questions that we have."

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Source: BBC News, 4 October 2022


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