Bath MP Wera Hobhouse Hosts Online Public Meeting with Dr Bharat Pankhania
On Wednesday 13th May Wera Hobhouse MP launched a new series of online public events with key community figures. Her first guest was internationally recognised infectious disease specialist and Combe Down Ward Liberal Democrat Councillor, Dr Bharat Pankhania.
Wera Hobhouse introduced Dr Pankhania, who shared his personal and professional journey from GP to respiratory specialist to infectious disease specialist. He worked for Public Health England prior to taking up his current role as Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Exeter Medical School. Almost 90 members of the public participated in the free Zoom meeting. Many took the opportunity to ask questions on a range of topics connected with coronavirus, from social distancing, testing and tracing, the Government’s handling of the pandemic and how to work safely in the current situation.
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An outspoken advocate of a more stringent approach to tackling coronavirus, Dr Pankania underlined the need for all members of the public to continue to remain extremely cautious at this time. Those who are vulnerable due to age or underlying conditions must continue to “stay away from humans and places where humans congregate.”
He also argued for the need for testing and tracing, saying: “With testing and tracing, we have buried our head in the sand. We just haven’t done it. We are a first world country. If Germany can do it, we can do it. We have made a mistake, we need to answer for it, and hold people accountable.”
Wera said: “I am very grateful to Dr Bharat Pankania for sharing his insights on coronavirus which has radically changed all our lives. He has the ability to convey complex information in a friendly and understandable way.”
“I was delighted to have such a strong turnout and a high level of participation from local residents. Feedback on the event was very positive. We have made a recording of the event public, and I do encourage people to watch it.”
“I look forward to hosting my next guest speaker, Professor Sue Rigby, Vice-Chancellor of Bath Spa University, on Wednesday 27th May.”
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