With many countries blaming China for the global outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus, it was the overall readiness of healthcare systems leading to the pandemic. Given that SARS-CoV-2 presented something that medical experts never encountered before, many question the actions taken by their respective governments and health officials amid the crisis. The latest reports reveal that many in the U.K are in favour of a public inquiry. Moreover, top doctors are purportedly in support of the notion.
Given the current situation wherein social distancing and isolation are encouraged to slow down the transmission of the virus, it will likely be conducted after treatments or vaccines becomes available. According to Independent, top doctors from the Royal College of Physicians are in agreement that certain concerns regarding how well the COVID-19 pandemic was handled need answers.
The virus remains unpredictable as researchers continue to learn as much as they can about its nature. So far, there have been multiple groundbreaking studies published that would hopefully lead to a cure. Until then, the call for a public inquiry will be held off. Michael Gove, chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster stated: "We are still living through this pandemic and there will be lessons to be learned."
A public inquiry can only be requested, but the ministers have full control over the decision to hold one or not. Nevertheless, under the European Convention of Human Rights, it might be required to do so. A partner at Kingsley Napley law firm Sophie Kemp said: "The decision to order a Covid-19 inquiry will require significant political bravery. Some of the most difficult decisions a government has ever had to make will fall under the spotlight, and, as the crisis continues to unfold, yet more decisions will come into focus."
While it is too early to know if a public inquiry does come into play, many suggest that efforts should go into services that help in the battle against COVID-19. Easing the strain on those working in the front lines should be the top priority for now. Meanwhile, others hope that the U.K. government and NHS explore strategies from countries that have been effectively controlling the pandemic.