UK coronavirus infections and death rates increase as Johnson blames Europe

By Robert Stevens
30 July 2020

The Johnson government’s removal of Spain from its “safe-travel” list for Britons travelling abroad is a cynical PR stunt.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s aim is to divert attention from the resurgence of coronavirus infections in the UK, by claiming that the main threat facing everyone is from the regrowth of cases in Europe.

Johnson’s Brexit-reading of the continuing pandemic is aimed at disarming and demobilising any opposition to the criminal “herd immunity” policies that mean the UK has the third-highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the world.

Medical staff receive training on how to put on and remove personal protective equipment to avoid being infected or transmitting coronavirus, at the Nightingale Hospital North West, in Manchester, northern England. Hospital. (AP Photo/Jon Super, File)

Amid his drive to reopen the economy, Johnson visited Nottingham on Monday, declaring that “clearly we now face, I’m afraid, the threat of a second wave in other parts of Europe and we just have to be vigilant.”

There is a significant rise in infections in Spain and other European countries, as government after government ditched their own national lockdowns—posing a threat to tourists from the UK, whom the government spent weeks urging to go on holiday. But the main danger threatening the UK population is the surge in infections in Britain due to Johnson’s ending of the lockdown, reopening all the main sectors of economy—and in his future plan for all schools to reopen in September.

The move against Spain will impact 600,000 British people, who were in the country when Johnson changed the travel advice. His homicidal agenda, however, affects the entire UK population of 66 million.

The pulling of Spain from the safe-travel list had nothing to do with securing public safety. On Wednesday, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden even stressed that Britons should continue to book holidays, while being “aware of the risk that quarantine could be imposed.”

In line with the Conservative government’s continued encouragement of people to go on holiday abroad to “save the summer,” Dowden added, “We are at a very risky moment with this pandemic. So long as you’re aware of that risk and comfortable with that risk, go ahead and take your break.”

Following the measures against Spain, the Daily Telegraph reported yesterday that the government is now considering removing Belgium, Luxembourg and Croatia from the safe-travel list. It should be noted that nothing is said of the risk to the populations of other countries posed by an influx of British tourists.

The UK’s official death tally is 45,961, more than a third higher than Spain’s 28,436. The UK figure has been manipulated for months by the government, meaning it is substantially lower than the true figure—with “excess deaths” related to coronavirus already at more than 66,000.

Buried beneath the screaming headlines about the danger emanating from Spain and other countries are muted reports that, after dipping due to the impact of the lockdown, UK cases are rising again.

An increase in coronavirus cases in England was recorded each day last week for the first time since the April peak. The seven-day average stands at almost 700—a rise of 28 percent from three weeks ago. On Tuesday, the UK recorded 581 new cases and 119 COVID-19 deaths, while Spain announced 1,828 new cases but only 2 deaths. On Wednesday, the case number rose again in the UK to 763, with a further 83 deaths. Total cases in the UK passed 300,000 this week—one of only 10 countries to reach that level. This is despite the absence of any systematic testing.

According to a report in the Daily Mirror Tuesday, it was the fact that 10 Britons tested positive for coronavirus, after returning from Spain since July 1, that led to the decision to remove Spain from the safe-travel list. The newspaper cited a “senior” government source, who said, “It was a small number but it was statistically significant enough to cause concern.”

Yet, more than double this infection rate was recorded at just one caravan site in Britain last Sunday! There were 20 cases reported last week at Balfour Beatty’s concrete manufacturing site in Avonmouth, near Bristol, with the facility having to be closed over the weekend for a deep clean. Despite this, on Tuesday, the infection level had reached 28 and had nearly doubled to 36 by Thursday. This means that more than a third of the 90 workers at the site have been infected.

The criminal policies of allowing pubs and restaurants to open their doors on July 4, on what the government and media hailed as “Super Saturday,” has also resulted in a flood of new cases. It was confirmed this week that at least 10 people were infected after 200 drinkers were crammed together in a pub in Stone, Staffordshire, between July 16 and 18. In the week to Sunday, 43 new cases were recorded in Staffordshire—with residents voicing concerns that the reopening of pubs and bars is a central factor.

The town of Oldham, with a population of 235,000, was forced to introduce new restrictions on movements Tuesday, with visits to other households now banned locally. This was after National Health Service statistics revealed that Oldham recorded 128 new cases (54.3 for every 100,000 people) in the week to July 26—an increase of 191 percent. The week before saw 26 cases recorded.

Oldham overtook Leicester to register the second highest COVID-19 infection rate in England. The potential for further exponential spread is enormous. Oldham is part of the Greater Manchester conurbation, with a population of nearly 3 million. Its largest city, Manchester, has also seen a surge in cases, with 22.9 new cases per 100,000 (up 55 percent) placing it in the top 10 areas with the highest infection rates in England.

Trafford, another town in Greater Manchester, recorded 36.8 cases per 100,000 people—a rise of 235 percent. Blackburn with Darwen, also in the north west, has the highest recent number of recorded cases in England, with 85.9 people per 100,000 people infected.

Regarding tourists visiting the UK, a major track-and-trace operation is now under way in Berlin after a Turkish couple tested positive for coronavirus after returning from visiting friends in Manchester. So far, 50 people who have had contact with the couple since they arrived home on a Ryanair flight on July 16 are in quarantine, with 13 testing positive for COVID-19. The whole family of the couple is infected, including four children and their grandmother.

In the face of this resurgence, the one thing that the ruling elite refuse to contemplate is a return to national lockdown.

On Monday, Johnson addressed more than a dozen corporate bodies brought together by the Business Action Council. The Financial Times reported that Johnson said the “pandemic could worsen again after the summer. But he sought to reassure executives it would not be as bad as the first outbreak and stressed the government would seek to avoid a second national lockdown, according to several participants.”

The newspaper reported that “some of the participants” noted, “The government wants to address any new outbreaks at a local level given the damage to the economy caused by the national lockdown. …”

Johnson “also used his call to stress the importance of getting employees back at work.”

This week, the pro-Tory Daily Mail trumpeted research published Wednesday by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, which baldly concluded that the saving of hundreds of thousands of lives via the lockdown was not worth the candle.

Crunching the numbers, the report by the accountants of death, “Living with covid-19: balancing costs against benefits in the face of the virus,” states:

“For every permutation of lives saved and GDP lost the costs of lockdown exceed the benefits. Even if lives saved are as high as 440,000, each of which means an extra ten years of quality adjusted life—and when the lost output (assumed to be a sufficient and comprehensive measure of all costs of the lockdown) is simply the likely shortfall in incomes in 2020—costs are still over 50 per cent higher than the benefits of a three month lockdown (benefits = £132 billion; costs = £200 billion).”

 

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