Sailesh Mehta was interviewed by BBC News on 27 April discussing the recent High Court ruling that government had acted unlawfully by discharging untested hospital patients into care homes during the early stages of the pandemic.
“It was well known that in the first few days of infection, Covid symptoms are either non-existent or so mild as to be undetectable without a Covid test. The Secretary of State for Health (Matt Hancock) and the Health Minister (Lord Bethell) articulated this concept in early March 2020. If a person is allowed into a care home at an early stage of infection, without isolation or testing, then they are likely to infect many others unknowingly.
The virus spread at an alarming rate in care homes claiming 20,000 lives in just the first few months. Relatives watched loved ones die without being able to attend to them because of the lockdown rules. The Government’s published guidance documents allowed a rampant spread of the virus in care homes, amongst the most vulnerable. Many of these deaths could have been prevented had the correct advice been given. The High Court found the guidance in the policy documents to be “irrational” and unlawful. It is likely that the Covid Inquiry will also look at this critical part of the Government’s handling of Covid-19.”
Sailesh Mehta specialises in Regulatory and Professional Discipline and is regularly instructed in Health and Safety matters.
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