Calderdale campaigners say Government should aim for ‘zero COVID’

The Government should aim to aim for “zero COVID”, rather than just living with the virus, say campaigners.

Saturday, 6th March 2021, 11:30 am
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Getty Images)

A Facebook meeting to debate the issue was organised jointly by the Calderdale Stand Up To Racism, Calderdale People’s Assembly Against Austerity and Calderdale Momentum groups.

They posed the question “what is a zero covid strategy and why do we need one now?”

The groups said the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, had said there was no way to COVID zero but they argued countries across the world including New Zealand, Vietnam and China show zero covid had shown this was possible.

Campaigners said zero COVID could be achieved but would require enforcing a strict lockdown until new cases and deaths are suppressed to manageable levels, offering financial support to those who are furloughed or who cannot afford to self-isolate and ensuring everyone is vaccinated including migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

The groups said the pandemic has disproportionately affected disabled people, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people and the poorest communities.

Health and financial safeguards should have been enacted to ensure the most vulnerable and marginalised in society were not left worse off, claimed the group, which ran the session last weekend.