COVID restrictions must immediately be reintroduced if England is to avoid ‘stumbling into a winter crisis’ Matthew Taylor, head of the NHS Confederation, has warned.
Taylor told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday that ‘the health service is right at the edge’ as the Covid pandemic is once again ripping through the country.
The figures for Covid infections and deaths are shooting up, with Professor Adam Finn, a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, telling the BBC that ‘relying on the vaccine programme to take care of the problem is not going to be a solution’ and that despite the roll-out the country has a higher level of infections than at any point in the pandemic.
Daily cases of Covid infection have been over 40,000 for seven days running, with 43,738 new infections reported on Tuesday. On the same day, another 223 deaths from Covid were reported – the highest number since March – while the number of patients in hospitals has risen by 10% in one week to 7,749 on Monday.
The UK now has one of the highest weekly rates of new Covid reported cases in the world. With Covid cases racing upwards, the pressure on the NHS is fast reaching breaking point.
NHS Confederation is calling for the Tories to immediately ditch their ‘Plan A’ for dealing with the Covid pandemic, that effectively ended all measures to hold back the infection. Schools and businesses were reopened as all restrictions were lifted with workers instructed, under the threat to their jobs, to return to work.
Immediately before the head of the NHS Confederation issued his warning and called for Plan A to be ditched, Tory cabinet minister Kwasi Kwarteng insisted on BBC Breakfast that the return to ‘normal life’ had been ‘very hard won’, adding: ‘The infection rate was always likely to go up as we reopened up the economy.’
The Tories knew full well that the infection and death rate would shoot up, just as they were warned by scientists that the effectiveness of vaccines would decrease after six months, and still they forced an end to all rules to contain the pandemic.
Their sole concern was to reopen British capitalism as fast as possible regardless of the cost in lives.
That was always their Plan A.
The Plan B which the Tories claim to exist, in fact simply calls for the public to be told to ‘behave more cautiously’ and make face coverings compulsory in certain settings while advising people to work from home where possible.
Last week’s parliamentary select committees report into the Tory handling of the initial phase of the pandemic concluded that it was ‘one of the most important public health failures of the United Kingdom’, and damned the Tories for the policy of herd immunity which it claimed was not a deliberate policy but due to a ‘degree of fatalism that made it the inevitable outcome.’
It is now clear that herd immunity – allowing the coronavirus to infect most of the population – was no accident but a deliberate policy that still is in force, and that people will just have to live with increasing deaths and the collapse of the NHS to keep capitalism open.
What is clear is that capitalism will never take the necessary steps to eradicate coronavirus.
It will never follow the example set by China which despite being a deformed workers state was able to mobilise the full resources of the state, with the full support of the working class, to enforce total lockdown along with nationwide track and testing to isolate and treat the infected.
Along with the new vaccines, this practice has defeated the virus in China and showed the way for the world to eradicate and defeat the coronavirus pandemic.
The Tories, that serve a capitalist system that places profit above the lives of working people, will never implement these measures.
Workers must demand the unions call a general strike to kick out the Tories and bring in a workers government that will expropriate the capitalists and go forward to a socialist planned economy that will implement all the measures needed to defeat and eradicate the virus.