THE chairman of Healthwatch has been in self isolation for three weeks, and is encouraging others in his position to do the same during the Covid-19 outbreak.

And Peter Pinfield said he is ready to stay at home for months if he has to.

The 72-year-old said he first began staying at home in February, after suffering a kidney infection.

"I was a bit ahead of the curve with this," the former councillor said.

READ MORE: 'We could go under' landlord speaks of anger at government's stay away policy

READ MORE: Coronavirus causes city court disruption

"I knew my immune system would be low, I'm in the over 70s age group, and I suffer from long term health problems anyway having heart problems, and diabetes.

"I realised I would need to keep myself at home. It is just me and my wife (Pat) here.

"Then the government advice changed this week anyway. I think we over 70s are the most vulnerable group, you have to take the advice from the government seriously."

Mr Pinfield, who has lived at his home in Droitwich since the 1970s, said it had not been easy especially as he was meant to be flying out to Cape Town in South Africa for a holiday this week.

Mr Pinfield said: "It is difficult but is just sensible.

"I'm susceptible to diseases, and I'm calling coronavirus a deadly virus - you have to protect yourself."

Mr Pinfield, who received the title of honorary alderman of Droitwich in 2016, says his work with Healthwatch, the body which represents county patients, would carry on throughout this period.

"Healthwatch work continues, and we have been using videolink to hold our meetings," he said.

"I'm able to work from my desk at home. We all have to find a way to follow the guidance.

"If people are struggling in this first week, they need to prepare as this situation is going to last for a long time.

"People should not panic, be sensible with shopping. We will need to come together.

"I called some people we haven't spoken to for a while just to have a chat and check on them, that is another example of a simple thing people can do."