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preparing for this virus to be around in some form for many years to come. With 40m doses of vaccine set to arrive in 2022 and an overall supply line that is set to last until 2025, it’s clear that there is an acknowledgement that this will be a long fight. The SAGE scientists like Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance are also referring to this virus as endemic now.


With 407m doses of vaccine on order, the government is already building long-term readiness and diluting the risks by using different suppliers, but without the acknowledgement of the airborne risks, this can only do so much – it needs to be a joined-up, blended approach. Prevention is better than the alternative, because in this case, there’s unlikely to be a cure for a virus that spreads and mutates at the rate this one does.


Trying to keep ahead of this virus is a dangerous game. It’s incredibly adaptable and there is an awful lot of guesswork about predicting the spread and virulence of new and more easily spread strains. Ongoing lockdowns are simply not an option and are increasingly ineffective as people struggle with the monotony and isolation they bring. We need to get on the front foot and not only rely purely on medicine to help solve this crisis.


58 | INFECTION CONTROL


Engineered solutions like UV-C (also known as UVGI) and air filtration systems are needed wherever possible to help cut this virus off at the knees and stop transmission in the first instance.


These solutions are now being brought in by several industries and many countries around the world are specifically recommending them because they are recognising that the guidelines in their current form aren’t doing enough. Those industries such as food manufacturing and production that rely on having people on the ground and in their factories are having to look beyond what they are advised and find solutions that will actually work.


Hospitals, schools and hotels are the next places that need to be looking at this kind of response, especially with the government’s travel regulations meaning that potentially infected travellers are being kept in potentially inadequately ventilated spaces that could actually accelerate contagion spread to other travellers or staff.


Action needs to be taken now, or we risk further unnecessary spread of this dangerous pathogen.


www.pplpro.co.uk


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