Future generations will learn from the lessons that emerge regarding the Government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
The First Minister insisted that as Scotland and other countries remain in the grip of the “crisis”, her Government is focused for now on dealing with it.
But she also stressed the importance of learning from what has happened in the 10 months since coronavirus arrived in Scotland last March.
The Scottish Government has come under fire over some of the decisions it has made – such as transferring elderly patients from hospital to care homes in the early part of the pandemic without first testing them for Covid.
“We’ve got things wrong, and I have tried never to shy away from this,” Ms Sturgeon said on Friday.
“Some of that will be relatively small things in the grand scheme of things, some of that might be bigger.”
She said the Scottish Government had been “planning for something akin to a flu pandemic” when coronavirus first emerged, but she conceded it quickly became apparent that Covid “is very different to flu”.
Speaking at her regular coronavirus briefing, she said some of things the Scottish Government had got wrong “is a judgment with hindsight”.
She added: “If I knew then what I know now, there are some things I would have done differently. Perhaps testing in care homes being one of those.
“But I didn’t know then what I know now, and therefore if I was to turn the clock back I would do the same things because we were acting on what we knew then.
“I think it is going to be really important to understand the difference between things we just got wrong – because there will have been examples of that – on the one hand, and things on the other hand with this perspective we have a year on, we think we did things wrong, they weren’t wrong at the time because they were based on the information we had at the time.
“And understanding the difference between those two things is going to be part of that whole process.
“This is something that is really important to me. I want to make sure we learn properly from this. I hope that our generation will never, ever have to go through a global pandemic again, but sooner or later some generation will.
“And therefore it is really important that we learn lessons now so that we are leaving those for the benefit of those who come after us.
“But also so there can be proper scrutiny and accountability. It is something I feel very strongly about.
“I can’t change what happened yesterday, I can still influence what happens tomorrow, therefore I can’t lose that focus and I can’t allow my Government to lose the focus on the remaining phases of this pandemic.”
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