In January 2020, the SARS-CoV-2 virus took the world by surprise, leading to many deaths and much disruption to our lives. Now, more than a year on, we need to take stock of our response and ask if all emergency actions taken were necessary, whether they are still necessary and if any mistakes were made.
Normally in England and Wales if a death is caused by a Notifiable Disease like Covid-19, an inquest must be held. However, with the introduction of the Coronavirus Act 2020 last March, this requirement was suspended in cases where Covid-19 was suspected as a cause of death. This remains the case for the duration of the “Emergency Period” defined in the act.
The act also radically changed the established procedures for registering deaths. Previously, an attending doctor would complete and submit a death certificate to the local medical examiner who would scrutinise it and…
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