Australia has officially recorded over 2 million cases of COVID since the beginning of the Pandemic. Of these 900,000 have recovered and over 3000 have died.
The bulk of these infections and deaths have occurred after the new strategy of ‘Living with COVID’ was adopted. The death rate is expected to accelerate for some time while the hope is that infection numbers will plateau and tail off with this fourth wave.
The position is to make COVID endemic and hope the so-called milder less severe strain becomes the dominant source of infection. Endemic just means among the population. The government strategy of COVID here to stay and that although each wave will cause some hospitalisations, some acute cases and even some deaths, we must learn to live with this.
The argument is that opening up will revive the economy, restore growth and make lives safer.
The problem at the moment, is that the infection rate, hospitalisations, severe illness and death have increased at a rate not seen under previous strategies. As the numbers of infected increased a large section of the population have imposed their own lock down voluntarily. When workers, who produce the essentials for our society, have become infected production has been halted and disrupted. The hospital system has come to the point of collapse overcome by the sheer volume of cases and health workers at severe risk and succumbing to the virus from exhaustion and inadequate protection.
A Shortage of workers in critical areas such as logistics and health has crippled that section of the economy which is now functioning below the needs of the population. The response of the Government has been to change the criteria of what constitutes a close contact, to force asymptomatic people back to work and to render contact tracing virtually impossible.
PCR testing has been abolished for whole sections and the more unreliable Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) has been substituted. Supplies of testing has not been kept up with demand and accessibility to testing has been compromised.
The virus is now widespread infecting both the vaccinated and unvaccinated. The vaccines that have been previously administered have lost efficacy and a booster is now required. The removal of workplaces from close contact rules is contrary to the scientific evidence that was established during the previous outbreaks where workplaces, schools and universities along with aged care homes were primary sources of contagion. Travel and airlines also operate to spread the virus.
The Government strategy is not working.
The Communist Party calls for a change of strategy;
As primary sources of infections workplaces, schools and universities must become the first place to fight the virus. Testing should be free of charge in all workplaces, schools and universities. Cases identified should be afforded support in purpose built medical and quarantine centres.
All enclosed workplaces, schools and universities must have strict measures applied for ventilation and include the installation of hepa filter air purifiers. Vaccine mandates are important, but mass testing and health facilities are also very important and should be part of the overall plan.
All private hospitals should be commandeered for use as part of fighting the crisis. Some should be opened as free hospital beds for surgeries and to treat conditions that have been put on hold as the Public Hospital system deals with the surge.
Unions should be incorporated in the government strategy and the production of vital supplies placed under emergency powers to stop hoarding and profiteering. The demonising of those who die from the virus should stop.