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Building a Community Shield to Suppress the Coronavirus

The Green Party of England and Wales has released a report written by Molly Scott Cato, making the case for an approach to the corona virus pandemic which combines testing with the establishment of ‘community shields’: a network of locally-based community protection schemes.

Professor Scott Cato said:

“From the beginning of this crisis, our government has looked flat-footed, incompetent, even callous. But the overwhelming sense we have had is one of fatalism – which we utterly reject. We can find a way to suppress the virus so that it is contained and under control and we can offer support in their homes and regular contact – in person or by phone or app – to all those who are suffering.

An effective Community Shield would protect us all from the onward spread of this deadly virus. It is a vision of hope, based in the community solidarity that we have all experienced so strongly in recent weeks. We warmly commend it to the country. Practically, it is possible. Now we have to build the political will to make it a reality.”

The report calls on the government to work with local authorities and GPs to do the vital work of finding people with the virus, isolating them quickly, and tracing those they contacted.

Cllr Martin Whiteside, Green Leader on the District Council said:

“It is vitally important that we develop community based support to identify, isolate and reduce the new infections as we move into the next phase of reducing the lockdown and while we wait for an effective vaccine and treatment to be developed. This report is a major contribution to thinking about how this can practically be done at a community level. We need to build on the massive community goodwill shown across our communities to make this happen”

The report was launched by Caroline Lucas and includes contributions from Larry Sanders, Green Party health speaker – Gina Dowding – expert in public health, Richard Lawson – GP and former national speaker and Tom Scott – media and data expert.

Read the report here.