The Socialist 9 September 2020 |
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Caerphilly lockdown puts profits before safety
Dave Reid, Socialist Party Wales
The Welsh government has imposed a lockdown on Caerphilly county as the number of confirmed cases of cases of Covid-19 has risen above 50 per 100,000. Nobody will be able to enter or leave Caerphilly borough without "a reasonable excuse", and nobody will be allowed to enter anyone else's home.
Welsh health minister, Vaughan Gething, said: "I can't overstate the seriousness of the situation that we are in." But he's demanding that the lockdown is only aimed at people's private lives - pubs, restaurants, bars, and, crucially, schools, remain open.
Caerphilly workers are barred from visiting their parents' house but can travel to work, inside and outside the borough, as normal. One worker commented: "Don't go to other people's houses - make sure you only see them when five pints under down the local"!
The spread of the virus in Caerphilly's schools is a particular concern. Teachers are worried that they are facing hundreds of school students a day as the virus spreads through the community. As one teacher commented: "It's almost as though they consider us expendable".
Campaign group 'Parents For Safety First' had called for Welsh education minister Kirsty Williams to pause the schools reopening as cases were increasing, but the schools are continuing to open to more and more pupils.
Caerphilly council must ensure that council workers are able to provide services safely, with PPE provided to all workers who need it, and care homes protected.