I wholeheartedly agree with Keir Starmer’s call for a renewed national lockdown to reduce the growth of the coronavirus pandemic and support the programme for vaccinations, as the situation descends into an increasingly grave position.
The rise of coronavirus rates in the United Kingdom is of growing concern. Sundays usually provide the lowest level of results, because of the data lag, yet despite this we saw 54,990 cases and 454 deaths added. This cannot be countenanced.
Whilst many primary schools have welcomed back students, and many secondary schools are due to open next week, I have been contacted by a number of parents and teachers that are concerned and worried.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and other bodies have outlined that the best route to defeating and quelling the spread of the virus is to act early and fast. However, the Government has continued to react slowly to the developing situation, including hesitating before initiating the two national lockdowns.
I fear that these delays have had tragic consequences and I also fear that if we do not act now, we risk a repeat of these tragic miscalculation.
By acting swiftly, and placing the UK into a national lockdown, we stand the best chance to support the NHS and prevent it from being overwhelmed by rising admissions. Worrying reports are emerging from London with increased shortages of doctors and nurses, as well as little to no spare hospital capacity. We cannot risk this virus growing and crippling the NHS in Bolton and beyond.
What’s more, by slowing the spread of coronavirus with a national lockdown, we buy time for the vaccination programme, buoyed today with the formal rollout of the first Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, to reach a wider proportion of society and prevent unnecessary deaths. If we are to emerge from this pandemic, then the vaccine is absolutely crucial.
A national lockdown, coupled with a mass mobilisation of the state’s intellectual, financial, and physical resources towards vaccine deployment is the clearest way out of the pandemic.