Covid Action Campaign
Covid-19 Pandemic is not over – Covid is deadly
Boris Johnson left office on September 6th with a legacy of more than 200,000 Covid deaths, most of them avoidable, yet his successor Liz Truss has dubbed his laissez-faire approach ‘draconian’.
For more than six months now the Tory Government has been falsely claiming that the Covid pandemic is over, and we can now safely live with this lethal virus. Yet tragically twice as many died from Covid in the summer of 2022 than the summer of 2021.
The infection rate dropped from 7.5% in England in April 2022 to 1.6% in September 22 – that correlates to nearly a million infected and sick people, a large proportion of whom are unable to work, and are struggling with inadequate financial support to purchase food, energy and pay rent, at a time of rapidly increasing prices.
Two million Long Covid sufferers are suffering and struggling to work as the cost-of-living crisis bites. Experts in public health suggest that that another Covid wave is on its way – see here.
Zero Covid, which spearheaded campaigns demanding that Government recognises the importance of universal vaccination and takes action in response to the risks of Covid variants, has now been relaunched as COVID ACTION.
COVID ACTION will raise the profile of its campaign to persuade government and the media to recognise that the Covid pandemic is not over, and that precautionary public health measures must be taken to slow down community transmission as we pass from Autumn and Winter. Booster shots for just a section of the population are not enough. Everyone should be entitled to a booster. But, vaccines alone are also not enough. We need safe, effectively ventilated, workplaces and schools, free testing for all, mask wearing on public transport and crowded indoor venues, decent sick pay and enforceable air quality standards.
COVID ACTION was launched with powerful and symbolic outdoor activities on 31 August, 2022 at the ‘Covid National Memorial Wall’, near St Thomas’ Hospital, where our activists were joined by speakers from ‘Doctors in Unite’, ‘Covid Bereaved Families for Justice’ and ‘Keep Our NHS Public’ calling for #CovidActionNow!
COVID ACTION’S profound message was taken across Westminster Bridge to the House of Commons, and masks were handed out to the public, with the message that we need to actively protect all communities from spreading Covid and getting infected.
Local MP, Florence Eshalomi, sent a message of support to COVID ACTION:
“It breaks my heart to see so many families torn apart by the loss of a loved one” and that “it is vital that we remember that this disease is still amongst us.” She also paid tribute to our NHS workers and “everyone fighting to get them a better deal.”
Dr Coral Jones, representing ‘Doctors in Unite,’ stated: “statistics can’t hide loss, and denial of 205,000 deaths – statistics don’t make these terrible deaths go away.”
The next stage of COVID ACTION’S relaunch is an online meeting from 3pm on Sunday 11 September with Professor Stephen Reicher, of Independent SAGE, Janet Newsham of the Hazards Campaign, Alena Ivanova from Global Justice Now, and Joan Twelves from Covid Action. They will speak about the major objectives of the campaign to massively reduce infection rates and deaths from Covid. Campaigners online will be invited to put forward ideas for major COVID ACTION priorities to stop deaths and serious harm from Covid.
Joan Twelves, a member of the COVID ACTION steering committee said:
“As the new government emerges under Prime Minister Truss, we fear that the ‘Johnson covid fantasy’ will persist and prevail – the Tory fantasy that covid is almost gone, no worry, no problem! This derelict policy will result in the death of thousands more people in the UK. The voice of the people must be heard loud and clear to protect the population from this random irrational policy.
Covid and its lethal variants will remain as a major threat to life, health and economic survival, unless and until full protective measures and vaccine access to all is enforced, and safety from infection becomes a major government priority. COVID ACTION will relentlessly fight for this rational life-saving policy.”
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