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Winter will bring back coronavirus predicts retired environmental health officer from Coxheath

A second wave of Covid 19 infections is looking inevitable come the winter and the Government and health authorities are not doing enough to face up to it.

So claims retired county environmental health officer Tony Monk from Westerhill Road in Coxheath.

Tony Monk: "People are not taking the danger seriously enough."
Tony Monk: "People are not taking the danger seriously enough."

Mr Monk has contacted local MPs, the cabinet member responsible for public health at KCC, and Public Health England about his concerns but still feels the danger is not being taken seriously enough.

He said: "First the Government advice is still not clear. Look at its Coronavirus Guidance webpage - it was last updated on June 1. See the number of links and cross-references - it is hardly making it easy for the general public to follow."

But more worrying in Mr Monk's view is the authorities' failure to look ahead to the winter.

He said: "Once the flu season arrives, coronavirus will burst back - it's the same type of virus.

"The Government needs to be considering what the effect of people being inside their homes and offices, shutting their windows against the cold, and running ventilation systems will have on helping the virus to multiply.

"Even on the standard bus these days, there are very few windows that can be opened, they rely on air-conditioning.

"But without fresh air, you are simply breathing in some-one else's exhaled breath.

"We desperately need the Government to issue clear advice on the importance of fresh air and the opening of windows.

"There is as yet no proper authoritative and clear advice on mechanical ventilation.

"We need involvement from highly qualified and experienced heating and ventilation engineers stressing the importance of good design and maintenance, the introduction of adequate fresh air, and 'adequate' needs to be defined, and frequent maintenance, again which needs to be defined.

"Without this, there is the possibility of a continuation of risks from Covid 19 for years to come."

But Mr Monk who is now retired, does not just blame the Government. The public too, he says, are not taking the situation seriously enough.

He said: "The other day I was in the pharmacy. The assistant was wearing a mask and gloves, but his mask kept slipping down and he repeatedly hoisted it up, touching his nostrils each time as as he did so. Then he went on to the handle the products! The message is just not getting through!"

Mr Monk trained for five years to become an Environmental Health Officer with KCC, working with them for two decades.

He said: "We dealt with AIDS, hepatitis, Legionnaire's Disease - many of them were new at the time - just as coronavirus is today. It doesn't mean you can't plan what's best to do."

The Government says: "Everyone has a role to play in helping to control the virus by staying alert and following the rules."

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