Following the Covid-19 outbreak at the farm in Mathon in my constituency, I had a most informative discussion with Health Ministers.
I was keen that other local food producers and fruit farms be given the Covid-19 virus test.
We have a large population of migrant workers and ensuring everybody’s safety is in all our interests.
While we are all washing our hands and taking sensible distancing precautions, I also discovered some rather worrying patterns.
Most food operations make their workforce wear PPE but recently the last six outbreaks have been in food processing plants.
The Government is concerned that the reason for this is that despite the PPE in use, the temperature in these places is much lower at about 6 degrees Celcius.
In the hotter months, we have been winning our battle against CV-19 but the Government fear that during the winter months when the temperature falls we will be much more vulnerable.
This is not wholly proven but the consistent outbreaks in temperature controlled environments despite PPE gives us reason to be concerned.
Coupled with winter flu and colds we could be very vulnerable again.
Therefore we must do all we can to be ready for the winter by reducing the opportunity for contact with infection.
That is why the facemask is necessary in shops and why even people like myself who have had the virus should wear them.
I was told that my own, hard earned, antibodies would only last for about ten weeks and that after that the protection afforded by our immune system may not be sufficient.
The blood plasma which contains antibodies, which I and many others volunteered to donate, is helpful to patients recovering from CV-19 but after some time the plasma does not contain enough antibodies to be worth collecting.
This is particularly alarming as this means a vaccine, if one existed, would require a boost every ten weeks or so.
This also means that we will need to continue to take precautions to protect one another for a lot longer.
Our age and our reaction to Cv-19 is also immune dependent.
A person’s immunity response diminishes quite significantly at about sixty years of age.
We therefore will need to keep shielding our loved ones although young people should not be too worried.
Because of this new information I can see why the Prime Minister believes that wearing masks should be compulsory.
Especially as we get into the cooler months where the disease is expected to resurge.
More positively AstraZeneca are hoping to have their new drug available in the autumn, all being well, although this will reduce the fatalities it does not protect the healthy.
I was left with the feeling that CV-19 will be with us for a while longer yet and that we need rigorous testing at airports as well as greater powers to isolate infected people.
I have therefore spoken to both the Home Secretary and the Secretary of State for Transport, both of whom were sympathetic and keen to ensure that effective measures are put in place.
I am not in favour of draconian steps but without a long lasting vaccine we will need to think hard about how we protect one another.
You can watch Bill in the House of Commons by clicking the link below and going to 14:52:53.
A full transcript of the session can be found at the enclosed link: