Keep your distance banner in Ramsgate during the coronavirus crisis

Coronavirus: Clear, strategic leadership required

Boris Johnson’s strategies during the coronavirus crisis are being called into question. With our new leader at the helm, Labour are holding the Government to account. And rightly so. 

Recent reports of 17 deaths in a single Thanet care home have sent a shudder through our community. People rightly ask “How could that be allowed to happen?”.

The coronavirus crisis is far from over and in Thanet many are struggling. Individuals, families and businesses are bearing extreme strain and wondering what the future will bring.

We have seen a sharp rise in poverty, many organisations are working flat out to provide food to those in need. Support of other types is also being organised across the Isle. Whilst it’s true that many people are coping admirably, a significant proportion are experiencing much poorer mental and physical health. 

We have already seen a dramatic increase in unemployment. Our local economy has never recovered from austerity measures imposed in 2010 after the financial crisis. Nationwide, concerns are being expressed about youth unemployment. This is already impacting Thanet. 

Against this backdrop our NHS, care sector and public sector workers have been working at 100% plus. The high rate of coronavirus related deaths at the Grosvenor Court care home in Cliftonville are horrifying. I’d like to put my thanks to the staff on the public record. I know they battled against adversity to look after their residents. It goes almost with out saying our thoughts are also with those who have lost their loved ones. 

This tragedy was one of the topics covered on this morning’s ‘Wake Up Call’ on BBC Radio Kent. In discussion with presenter, Anna Cookson I also covered the need for pin sharp messages on social distancing and how Track and Trace has to be up and running before parents and teaching staff can have any satisfactory level of confidence over returning children to school.

There is a growing feeling that Government really needs to listen to those on the front line and then to act upon the advice without dither or delay.