This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
TORY ministers must not be complacent in the fight against Covid-19, Labour’s left and trade unions warned today, as weekly registered virus deaths passed 1,000 for the first time in eight months.
Official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show there were 1,020 deaths with coronavirus mentioned on the death certificate registered in the week ending November 12.
Covid-19 accounted for about one in 12 of all fatalities registered over that week, up 3 per cent from the previous week, when 995 deaths were registered.
It is the first time the weekly total has topped a thousand since the week ending March 12, during the third national lockdown.
Registered deaths with the virus rose in six of the nine English regions while 101 care home residents died with the disease, down slightly from the previous week.
There were 42,484 positive tests today, as cases continue to creep up, while 165 deaths were reported.
Cases in many parts of continental Europe are now rising more rapidly. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has admitted that the country is in the midst of a fourth wave, while Austria entered a new 10-day lockdown on Monday.
In light of the growing threat, former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott called for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to prepare to move to “plan B” restrictions to help avoid another lockdown and more deaths.
According to a government policy paper published in September, the measures would “help control transmission of the virus while seeking to minimise economic and social impact.”
This would include more home-working and mask-wearing, but shops and hospitality businesses would remain open and there would be no restrictions on movement.
The MP for Hackney North & Stoke Newington told the Morning Star that ministers are once again “pretending that everything is fine and we are ‘world-beating.’
“The situation is actually very grim, even before the winter flu season.
“As a minimum the government should be making plans now to move rapidly to ‘plan B’ and stop the freedom of movement of the virus.”
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The fatality rate is a sombre reminder that the pandemic is far from over. But the government is not taking some of the easiest and most important steps to reduce the spread of the virus.
“Mask-wearing should be compulsory on all public transport and in shops. And there are still two million workers without sick pay protection, which puts lives at risk because it makes isolation impossible for those who can’t afford it.
“Sick pay should be there for every worker — and worth a real living wage.”
And Unison head Christina McAnea urged people to take precautions wherever they can to avoid a return to restrictions and hospitals becoming overwhelmed.
She said: “That means us all wearing face coverings in public places and keeping a safe distance, as well as getting booster jabs as soon as it’s our time to do so.
“Even better, the government should act now to introduce ‘plan B’ and make mask-wearing mandatory again.
“Health services are already under huge pressure. We all must play our part in reducing the risks.”
Nearly 170,000 people have died with the virus in Britain so far, according to death certificates, the ONS confirms, while the BBC reports that about 5.1 million have lost their lives across the globe.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.