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Tackling the COVID-19 pandemic

September 26, 2020 4:00 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

NHS HeroesThe coronavirus pandemic has changed every single one of our lives.

For our frontline workers, we need safety, support and fair pay now.

You may have been furloughed from work, or lost your job, You may be one of millions of young people who navigated an online learning environment. You may be isolated from friends or family or have lost a loved one to COVID-19.

With limits on our interactions and activities, our daily lives disrupted, and the economy heavily impacted, there is no way to quickly 'bounce back' from this crisis.

We need long-term, joined-up thinking to recover and build our resilience - thinking that, time and time again, the Government has shown it isn't capable of.

Today Liberal Democrat conference has called on the Government to rethink its COVID-19 strategy. To protect our country from future coronavirus outbreaks and any future pandemics, the Government must:

  • Support frontline workers with mental health provisions, appropriate PPE, a pay award to recognise their service, and indefinite leave to remain for foreign nationals working in the NHS and social care,

For our public health, we need a test, trace and isolate system in place now.

  • Deliver a competent test, trace and isolate strategy,
  • Launch an independent inquiry now, to learn lessons for future outbreaks of COVID-19 and/or other illnesses,
  • Improve the mental and physical health of the nation through public health campaigns and investment in health services,
  • Recognise and respond to the existence of 'Long Covid', with patients still experiencing debilitating symptoms long after infection,
  • Tackle the disproportionate impact of coronavirus on black, Asian and minority ethnic communities,
  • Improve working between different levels of government to enable more effective public health responses

For the thousands of avoidable deaths the mismanagement of the pandemic has caused, we need answers now.

Read the full motion here: https://www.libdems.org.uk/f12-covid

COVID-19 has brought tragedy and upheaval to our lives, and it may be with us for a long time to come. These changes can't wait until the pandemic is over.

For our frontline workers, we need safety, support and fair pay now. For our public health, we need an effective system to test, trace and isolate every case of coronavirus, and investment in mental and physical health now. And for the thousands of avoidable deaths the mismanagement of the pandemic has caused, we need answers now.