Clarity needed on “shambolic” clean air strategy for schools – Rhun ap Iorwerth MS
Plaid Cymru’s health spokesperson, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, has asked for more clarity over the decision making process behind Welsh Government’s decision to fund 1,800 ozone disinfecting machines for all schools, colleges and universities in Wales.
On Monday 30 August the Welsh Government announced that “more than 1,800 ozone disinfecting machines and over 30,000 CO2 sensors will be provided for schools, colleges and universities throughout Wales”.
Yesterday, it was reported that the provision of the highly controversial ozone disinfecting machines was a “trial” although no statement has appeared on the Welsh Government website.
Speaking to BBC Radio Cymru this morning, Mr ap Iorwerth said he wanted to know:
- What procedures would guarantee no human contact with ozone – a highly toxic gas?
- What are the benefits of opting for technology that can only be used when no-one is around – isn’t it when pupils and school staff are present that the risk of infection is highest?
- Why opt for this technology when the Government’s own advisers suggest others e.g. UV light?
- Why so late in the day - just before new term begins?
- What are the procurement procedures followed by Welsh Government?
Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for health, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said,
“Mixed messaging from the Welsh Government over school safety procedures is doing little in reassuring the public that the government has a grip on its safety measures.
“Days before schools were due back we heard that the government would roll in nearly 2,000 brand new and highly controversial ozone disinfectant machines into every educational setting in Wales. Now we hear that this isn’t happening. Welsh Government needs to be clear on the procurement procedures it followed that led to this shambolic situation.
“Government already has clear advice from its technical advisory group, but where are the instructions to schools, colleges and universities on using CO2 monitors, properly ventilating buildings – even doing things as basic as instructing learners to wear warmer clothing to allow windows to be opened?
“While Welsh Government is still deciding on its back to school safety protocols, our children will already be back to school, with little change in the guidance in keeping them safe.”