Speaking this afternoon, Freeman said Sturgeon had chaired every meeting of the Scottish Government Resilience operation which was set up in late January to deal with the health crisis.
She told the briefing: “From the first Cobra meeting of Covid – I have been present.
“All of them with one exception. That was the norm. Early Cobra meetings were chaired by Matt Hancock. ”
Nicola Sturgeon did not take part in Cobra meetings, which were called specifically to discuss the coronavirus threat , until March 2.
She missed meetings on (January) and , and also failed to attend summits on February 5, 21 and .
She finally took her place on March 2 but missed another session on March 4 .
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman(Image: PA)
Freeman added: “It’s important for the people of Scotland to know we set up our Scottish Government Resilience operation in late January that was chaired by the First Minister from the first meeting.
“All except a recent one on Friday in that instance it was the deputy First Minister.”
Freeman said these meetings were looking across the “whole of government”.
She added that in the early meetings the Scottish Government were “looking at this very much from a health perspective”.
She said: “As the pandemic progressed, wider decisions were taken about how we should address this and deal with it, that affected a much broader area of Scottish society. ”
She added that the Scottish Government have been“ planning from January right the way through ”.
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