The Workers Union is supporting a balanced approach to responding to the resurgence in Coronavirus cases.
The announcement came as the chief executive of the NHS Confederation, Matthew Taylor, urged the government to implement working from home and the compulsory wearing of face masks.
Mr Taylor said that the NHS faced ‘the most challenging winter on record’. He also told the Guardian newspaper that: ‘we are right on the edge — and it is the middle of October. It would require an incredible amount of luck for us not to find ourselves in the midst of a profound crisis over the next three months.
‘The government ought to not just announce that we’re moving to Plan B, but it should be Plan B plus. We should do what’s in Plan B in terms of masks and working from home, but also we should try to achieve the kind of national mobilisation that we achieved in the first and second waves, where the public went out of their way to support and help the health service.’
However, prominent members of the Health and Social Care Committee and some senior MPs have rejected the call for a “Plan B”, claiming that the liberties of the British people must be the key consideration in any future policy response.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng described the return to near pre-virus levels of normality as ‘very hard won’ and outlined the government’s opposition to a ‘plan B right now.’
Meanwhile the deputy chair of the COVID Recovery Group, Steve Baker, said that NHS capacity cannot be the only driver of decision-making. In a wide-ranging interview with Talk Radio, Mr Baker said: ‘I think if we cross that Rubicon we end up prioritising healthcare above everything else. Of course, health care is super-important, it’s extremely important to everybody in my constituency.
‘But we really have to ask fundamental questions about how we’re choosing to live.
‘And what I would say is: Yeah okay, if we do have to take some measures, let’s do it on a voluntary basis but let’s not be shutting down businesses.
‘There’s a wide range of damage that comes from lockdowns and restrictions and we can’t afford to keep propping up businesses.’
The news comes against a backdrop of rising Coronavirus cases, with official data showing that Tuesday’s toll of 223 deaths within 28 days of testing positive was the highest daily reported figure since the 9th of March.
The Workers Union Says…
In the welter of confusion that surrounds these troubled-times, critics are apt to forget that it is people – with all their strengths and weaknesses – that have to make and take decisions that affect the current and future direction of our country.
It is with this in mind that we say that whatever happens from here on in, we must try to create a balanced response that takes into account every side of the argument before coming to a consensus. There are many factors to consider. Principal amongst them are the economic repercussions of increasing restrictions set against the implications of a rampant virus for healthcare professionals and, of course, the wider population of this country.
At the heart of our response should be a commitment to wiping away the acid of unhelpful rhetoric, and delivering solutions that work. Some of this must entail a better, faster, implementation of the booster vaccine programme, complemented by improved contingency planning and more resources for the NHS; and some of it will necessitate a renewed focus on individual responsibility.
What we cannot afford to do is lose sight of the fact that the livelihoods of working people depend on the supporting pillars of jobs, health and freedom. Any choices we make must use the best available data to balance these factors for the greater good of our country.
The Workers Union – fighting for social justice, fighting for you