Socialist Worker

Don’t let surging Covid cases and deaths be normalised

Issue No. 2777

Covid-19 rapid testing facility in North London.

Covid-19 rapid testing facility in North London. (Pic: charcoal soul/Flickr)


As winter approaches, the Tories deadly Covid-19 policies are once again threatening to “let the bodies pile high”. The number of Covid-19 cases reached almost 50,000 on Monday—the highest reported since 17 July.

There have only been 16 days throughout the entire pandemic in Britain where cases were higher than now.

And then on Tuesday Britain reported its highest number of Covid deaths for seven months, as 223 were recorded within 28 days of a positive test for the virus.

The daily death rate, by date reported, has not been so high since 9 March and brought the weekly toll to 911, a near-15 percent rise on the week.

There has been a steep rise in cases and deaths this month. It is driven by the continued opening up of the economy, the return to schools and universities and the scrapping of safety restrictions.

With cases sharply rising, an already stretched and underfunded NHS is hurtling towards breaking point. Hospitals across Britain are reporting overwhelmed A&E departments. At Royal Preston Hospital in Lancashire, a patient recently waited 47 hours in A&E for treatment.

One health worker said, “Almost every day, there are over 40-hour waits for beds. It is dangerous. We have had an unsafe workload for a number of years and are now on the brink of collapse.”

A third health board in Scotland, NHS Grampian, has asked the army to step in to plug shortages.

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The Tories’ drive to bring back business as usual has meant that school pupils are increasingly catching Covid-19. This in turn has led to infections hitting parents and siblings.

The Tories pin their hopes on the vaccines. Although they have cut the number of hospitalisations, they become less effective over time. King’s College London’s Covid-19 Symptom Study concluded that the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca jab fell from 77 percent to 67 percent, four to five months after a second dose. The Pfizer jab performed only slightly better.

Large parts of the rest of the world look on at the Tories’ reckless policies with disbelief and horror.

In Britain the rates of people who’ve been infected with Covid-19 are 42 percent above the European Union average.

This is all before winter begins. It’s before more and more people spend time indoors in rooms with closed windows.

The Tories want this to be normalised. They want everyone to accept 50,000 deaths a year as a price worth paying, so the profits keep flowing.

The government wants us to calmly accept mass contamination even though it risks the emergence of more transmissible, deadly and possibly even vaccine-resistant strains. This is not normal or acceptable.

Every socialist and trade unionist should be demanding more effective safety measures.

The Tories are murderers who have shown, yet again, that they are perfectly content to stand by as tens of thousands of people die.


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