Saturday 25th April 2020
DON’T END LOCKDOWN TILL IT’S SAFE TO DO SO!
WE NEED TESTING AND CONTACT TRACING NOW!
Sheffield is well-placed to pioneer this
Pilot already planned for Meersbrook /Heeley area
As Government and business get impatient to kick start the economy once more, we say DON’T END THE LOCKDOWN TILL IT’S SAFE TO DO SO! We support the Teachers Trade Union NEU in their demand to the Government that schools should not re-open until there is the scientific evidence that is safe. Social distancing in schools is simply not possible, says the NEU.
You can see the letter from NEU Joint General Secretaries to the Government here: https://neu.org.uk/press-releases/school-opening
We all want to end the lockdown but not if that means we simply cause a resurgence of infections!!
Sheffield TUC CV-19 Council of Action supports the Sheffield group of doctors who are pioneering a neighbourhood team approach for testing and contact tracing. Only by tracing and contacting those who are infected and keeping them in isolation can we ever hope to get on top of this pandemic. The only other solution is wait for a vaccination which might be 18 months away.
“We were doing testing and contact tracing right at the beginning – until this Government recklessly abandoned it in March when it moved from the so-called ‘containment’ phase to ‘delay’ phase” said Martin Mayer, Secretary to the Sheffield Council of Action. “Other countries are doing this successfully, like New Zealand, Germany and South Korea and are leading the way in battling this pandemic. We need to follow their example – and start it right away!”
The neighbourhood team idea is based on the principle that the virus is not just one national outbreak but a series of clusters, mainly at a local level. Neighbourhood teams of trained volunteers led by health professionals carry out mass testing and contact tracing. Those with the infection can be isolated, eventually eliminating the chance of further infections.
“Sheffield is well-placed to pioneer this” said Martin Mayer. “We have a dedicated group of health professionals who want to do it, we have some of the best university testing facilities in the country and a pilot is already being trialled here in one part of the city”
Before we go back to work let’s:
- ensure that all returning workers requiring PPE receive it
- ensure that comprehensive testing for Covid-19 is rolled out nationwide
- see conclusive evidence taking into consideration all of the factors inherent in a workplace that says it is as safe as it can be to return.
- ensure that trade unions have been fully consulted nationally and at local level to enable the necessary adaptations.
We want to return to our jobs but won’t compromise on our health or that of those who interact with us. The economy is important but not worth sacrificing lives of working class people unnecessarily.
Note for editors
Sheffield Trade Union Council has led a call for trades unions, health professionals, campaign groups and others to come together in collaboration to form the Sheffield TUC CV-19 Council of Action.
For comment/interview would editors please initially contact:
- Martin Mayer, Secretary Sheffield Trades Council on 07761078482
- Bob Jeffery President Sheffield Trades Council on 07714 760672
We can provide contact details for others for specialist comment e.g. health professionals, emergency services, schools etc.
A Facebook page has been launched: Sheffield TUC CV-19 Council of Action.
A comprehensive statement of our aims and a list of demands has been drawn up
We shall be issuing frequent press statements with comment and analysis and launching social media campaigns on key issues
Our top demand is TEST TEST TEST! And then trace, isolate and treat. This is the only proven way to get on top of the virus and protect our communities
NO END TO LOCKDOWN WITHOUT COMPREHENSIVE TESTING AND TRACING, CONTACTING AND ISOLATION