THE number of people worldwide who have died from Covid-19 has passed one million, reaching 1,002,296 with 33,378,462 infected, the Johns Hopkins University reported yesterday.
Deaths in the US, Brazil and India make up nearly half of that one million total, which UN Secretary General António Guterres called a ‘mind-numbing’ figure and an ‘agonising milestone’.
This development comes nearly 10 months after news of the coronavirus began to emerge from Wuhan, China, and nine months after China reported that it had eradicated the disease with a total lockdown, and mass testing and treatment that put the health of the Chinese people before the profitability of industry.
The Chinese economy is now alone in recovering and is poised to overtake the output that was established up to the discovery of the virus and the epidemic in Wuhan. The Chinese deformed workers’ state was able to shut down, with no loss of wages to workers, and to conduct a massive campaign to defeat the virus. They definitely did not learn to live with it!
The centres of the virus are now the major capitalist states, where profits and capitalism come first and patient care a very poor second, and in some cases is non-existent. The USA has recorded 205,000 fatalities, followed by Brazil with 141,000 deaths and India with 95,000.
The USA has now recorded more than seven million cases. Confirmed infections in India have reached six million – the second-highest after the US. Brazil has the highest number of deaths in Latin America and has recorded more than 4.7 million cases – the third highest in the world.
Latest tallies show that nearly 1.5 million people in Africa have been confirmed as contracting coronavirus, with around 35,000 deaths. The UK has had 46,000 deaths and 439,013 confirmed cases. Younger, less dense populations and hot, humid climates are being cited as key reasons why Africa has not had a higher number of cases. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also praised the ‘decisive’ action by African nations.
The UK ruling class has been unable to fight the virus, starting with being completely unprepared then proceeding to impose large scale infections in care homes, experiments with ‘herd immunity’ and now the latest epidemics amongst students.
The problem in the UK has been that the economy, and its profitability, has been the number one issue for the government, with the smashing of the Covid-19 virus threat being seen as secondary to the rate of profit being enjoyed by the country’s capitalist class.
The total lockdown was abandoned in favour of a return to work, and then with learning to live with the crisis! This has led to a second wave of the virus with students being kept in halls of residence by security guards, while the government encourages people to inform on rule-breaking neighbours.
The government’s refusal to tackle the crisis has now created the worst of all worlds, a collapsing economy with millions more unemployed with the ending of furloughing on November 1st, and hospitals that are due to be tested beyond breaking point by virus outbreaks and the traditional flu epidemic in the coming winter months.
The NHS Confederation report and survey on the English NHS said more investment is desperately needed, with hospitals still performing only half the number of routine operations they normally would. Two million patients have already waited longer than 18 weeks for treatment, the highest number since records began in 2007, while services in other areas, such as cancer care, are running at about three-quarters capacity.
Of the more than 250 NHS bosses who responded to the confederation’s survey, fewer than one-in-10 said the current level of funding allowed them to deliver safe and effective care. Nearly nine-in-10 said a lack of funding would be a significant barrier to achieving waiting-time targets for everything from mental-health care to cancer treatment to routine operations.
Workers and youth have no intention of learning to live with the Covid-19 crisis, or with mass unemployment or with an NHS that cannot deliver the treatment that they and their families require.
The only way out of this threatening catastrophe is for the masses of workers and youth to organise massive general strike actions to bring the Tory regime down and bring in a workers’ government and socialism. Only a nationalised and planned economy where the care of the people comes before any profit making can get rid of the coronavirus.
The UK desperately needs a socialist revolution! Join the WRP today!