“Outbreaks are rising in communities across the country, with the ONS infection survey reporting that as of the week ending 26 September, approximately 2% of the population tested positive for Covid-19.”
By Covid Action
As the pound falls to record lows, Covid-19 hospitalisations are reaching their highest levels in months. Almost 10,000 people are in hospitals across England with Covid-19 as of Wednesday, October 5th. Outbreaks are rising in communities across the country, with the ONS infection survey reporting that as of the week ending 26 September, approximately 2% of the population tested positive for Covid-19, a steady increase on the previous week. The ONS also reports that 3.5% of the UK population reports experiencing Long-Covid – that’s 2.3 million people.
We are entering our first Covid winter without free access to lateral flow tests, adding another cost to staying alive in the sixth largest economy in the world. Prime Minister Truss was willing to make a u-turn on one of her tax handouts to the wealthiest, so we call on her to make another u-turn to benefit all of us and do what is necessary to protect us from this virus.
We will make it easy for her. This is what she needs to do:
- Reintroduce free testing for all
- Mandate mask-wearing on public transport and crowded indoor public spaces
- A public sector test-and-trace system
- Safe working, studying and socialising, including Covid-safe workplaces Ventilation – the widespread installation of HEPA filters and CO2 monitors, and the establishment of mandatory criteria for air quality in indoor spaces
- Vaccination – boosters to be available to everyone
- Long Covid – financial support for those impacted by long Covid; for it to be recognised as a disability under the Equality Act and as an occupational disease; and funding for ongoing research
These are the steps which need to be taken immediately to reduce the spread of this virus. The prime minister claims that an “anti-growth coalition” is responsible for all of the United Kingdom’s ills, but it is a ‘Covid-Growth Coalition’ of political leaders, desperately gaslighting us to make us think the virus is not still with us, that is doing seemingly irrecoverable damage to a country already ransacked by austerity.
If the prime minister and indeed any currently elected politician wants to leave a legacy of anything other than death and despair, we cannot continue holding our hands over our ears and pretending everything is fine and normal. We must take Covid action now!
Noah Berman, a member of the COVID ACTION steering committee said:
“This does not need to happen. These infections don’t have to continue to spread, but unless we take action, they will. We must demand better from our government and workplaces and everywhere else. We must protect our NHS and in doing so, all of our lives. Covid will remain as a major threat to life, health, happiness, and economic survival, unless and until full protective measures are enforced and vaccines are made available to all. Safety from infection must become a major government priority. As the campaign to beat the pandemic, we believe a better world is possible and will fight relentlessly to make it happen.”
WHO ARE WE?
COVID ACTION is a grassroots, activist campaign of individuals and affiliated labour and trade union organisations who came together in November 2020 to challenge the UK government’s approach to the pandemic.
We are putting forward an alternative strategy, aimed at eliminating community transmission of Covid-19. We are campaigning for this to be adopted by Labour and all other political parties, the Westminster government, and the governments of the devolved nations, in order to save lives, prevent the collapse of the NHS and care systems, and stamp down on Covid-19 and all its variants.
An elimination strategy has been supported by numerous scientists, doctors, epidemiologists, and public health experts, and has been implemented by several countries around the world. We want to see Covid transmission driven down to the lowest possible levels, to stop more new variants emerging, and to end the continued threat to the lives, wellbeing, and economic potential of global communities.
- This article was originally published by Covid Action on October 7th, 2022.
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