ON TUESDAY Britain recorded over 200,000 new Coronavirus cases in one day for the first time during the pandemic.
The same day, prime minister Boris Johnson appeared at a news conference to announce that the country would have to ‘ride out the Omicron wave without shutting down our country once again,’ declaring that ‘we can find a way to live with this virus.’
In the week ending December 24, 591 deaths from Covid were recorded, with 909 Covid related deaths in the last 7 days (an increase of 51.8%)
According to Johnson, and the Tory MPs who are urging him to abandon all measures to stem the explosion of Omicron cases, workers and the middle classes, along with the elderly, will just have to live with these deaths for the greater cause of reopening the capitalist economy and ensuring the profits of the bosses.
Johnson made it clear there would be no new measures to combat the astonishing increase in Omicron and that he was determined to end all restrictions when his Plan B comes up for scrutiny at the end of January.
Johnson is under extreme pressure from Tory backbenchers and the bosses to cut the Covid isolation period to five days in order to release the one million people currently self-isolating back into the workforce.
With them now declaring that Omicron is no worse than the common cold, and that we must just accept and get on with working for the greater good of capitalism, the scene is set for all isolation and protective measures like social distancing and face masks to be abandoned.
As for any further lockdown to defeat the Coronavirus, this has been ruled out completely.
The claim that Omicron is a mild disease was undermined at the press conference by England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty.
Speaking after Johnson, Whitty said that people should be under no illusions that Omicron is not as dangerous as previous variants, saying: ‘The idea that this is a mild disease’ with people ‘less likely to be hospitalised I think is easily demonstrated to be incorrect.’
Pat Cullen, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said nursing staff will have ‘watched the prime minister’s statement in disbelief’, while the British Medical Association urged Johnson to impose new restrictions to help relieve pressure on the NHS, which is being brought to its knees by the surge in hospital admissions due to the virus.
Hospitals in Greater Manchester are the latest to declare they are pausing non-urgent surgery and appointments because of the impact of Covid with 15% of the workforce either ill or isolating.
At least 10 other hospital trusts have announced critical incidents since Christmas, while the North East Ambulance Service has told people that it is quicker to get to A&E by car than ambulance if they are having a heart attack.
Already there is a chronic staffing shortage amongst nurses and with over 50,000 off, either sick or isolating over the New Year – the NHS is being overwhelmed.
Health secretary Savid Javid announced the extension of his NHS ‘reservist’ volunteer scheme to be rolled out nationwide this year to 20,000 former NHS workers and untrained members of the public, recruited to cover the staffing shortages in NHS.
An army of untrained volunteers used to prop up the NHS, is all that the Tories are offering to meet this massive health crisis that is hitting millions across the country.
Already the death toll from Coronavirus in the UK is nearly 150,000, and the Tories are willing to allow hundreds of thousands more deaths in order keep capitalism open and the profits rolling in for the bosses and bankers.
Rather than learning to live with Covid, workers are seeing that they can’t live any longer with a Tory government and a capitalist system that puts profit above their lives.
Workers must demand that their trade unions put an end to this Tory government by calling a general strike to kick them out and bring in a workers’ government that will expropriate the bosses and bankers, and create the conditions for eradicating Covid, as they have done in China, and advancing to a planned socialist economy that places human life before profits!