ZERO COVID: The campaign to beat the pandemic
This motion was submitted by a member and seeing as Covid 19 has dominated everything in the last year and is the reason that this years AGM will be online we thought we should discuss it there.
I’m sure most people just want it to be over now and while this may not be the easiest route it may be more final. Please have a look at some of the information on this debate so we have some awareness of the choices we can make and therefore hopefully have a better debate on the day
This branch NOTES:
- The coronavirus pandemic got out of control in all nations of the UK, leading to tens of thousands of deaths, many of which scientists say were avoidable.
- The encouraging progress made with the development and deployment of vaccines, which scientists say can make an important contribution to tackling the pandemic, but are most effective as part of an overall strategy to minimise infections and the mutations they enable, which would also save lives while we wait for the full benefit of the vaccines.
- The failure to stop community transmission has led to a series of on-off restrictions on people’s lives with huge impacts on livelihoods and wellbeing.
- The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus, Independent SAGE, members of SAGE speaking in a personal capacity, the Hazards Campaign for workplace safety, the British Medical Association and many others have called for what is often called a Zero Covid strategy. This means aiming to end unexplained community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and implementing measures to avoid reintroduction from other countries. We know new cases will probably emerge from lapses in controls, but with rapid case finding and isolation, community seeding can be avoided.
- A growing number of countries, including Australia, China, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam, and within the British Isles, Guernsey and the Isle of Man have implemented different versions of a Zero Covid strategy and achieved far lower infection and death rates than the UK. Their citizens enjoy life without the need for draconian lockdown restrictions or other “non-pharmaceutical interventions” that come between friends and families.
This branch BELIEVES
- That a Zero Covid strategy, based on tried and tested public health principles, is an alternative to this chaotic policy of “living with the virus”, with its on-off lockdowns, needless deaths and illnesses, failed, privatised services, and relentless damage to livelihoods and wellbeing.
- This requires a real lockdown until cases are low enough for a publicly run Find, Test, Trace, Isolate and Support system to locate and safely isolate the few remaining community cases, breaking the last chains of transmission.
- To make a lockdown effective, we need the financial support and resources to empower communities’ collective discipline and social solidarity rather than crude police enforcement – which disproportionately targets black and Asian people, young people, and those in precarious work, on benefits and in overcrowded housing. There should be clear messages and information, free masks and sanitiser and community groups funded by councils to support the vulnerable, the sick and the lonely.
- Workers and their trade unions should be fully involved in ensuring safe working conditions in line with the Covid-19 Safe Workplace Charter. Only workplaces with Covid Safe certification should be allowed to open until it is safe for restrictions to be gradually lifted.
- Until cases are low enough, all non-essential workers should be supported to stay at home. The gaps in support must be plugged by the Treasury, and the livelihoods of all workers — including the self-employed — 100% safeguarded.
- Extra resources are needed for disadvantaged groups such as black people, Asians, disabled people, other minorities and people in poverty.
- When pupils aren’t physically in schools, families need to be given all the resources enjoyed by better-off families: laptops, cameras, the very best distance learning tools and safe places to study.
- All UK nations deserve a Find, Test, Trace, Isolate and Support system in the hands of experienced, local public health departments. People must be supported to isolate, including all lost income and making available alternative accommodation where needed to protect other household members.
- The UK government must support rather than obstruct devolved governments who want to implement more effective measures against the coronavirus.
- To prevent community seeding from international travel, a system of hotel quarantine must be made available to everyone who travels to Britain, and maintained until it is safe to remove. The UK government must cooperate with the Irish government to ensure the safety of people on the island of Ireland.
This branch resolves;
- To campaign for the UK-wide implementation of a ZERO COVID strategy
- To affiliate to the ZERO COVID campaign
- To invite a speaker from the campaign to a Plymouth tele-meeting as soon as possible ( but if you can’t wait ) https://zerocovid.uk/2021/01/13/the-ecology-and-economics-of-the-pandemic/
- To encourage members to participate in the ZERO COVID campaign
- To send this motion on to appropriate bodies
Further information is available from www.zerocovid.uk.