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March 22, 2020

Calls for front line NHS staff to have right kit to fight Covid-19

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P
Pa
March 22, 2020

LONDON: Ministers are facing mounting pressure to give front-line NHS staff the protective equipment they need as they tackle the coronavirus crisis.

Former Tory health secretary Jeremy Hunt joined calls for the government to “sort this out”, adding: “We are asking people to put their own lives at risk on the NHS front line. “It is absolutely heart-breaking when NHS front-line professionals don’t have the equipment that they need.

“I think the government has done a lot in the last week. I think they have unblocked the supply chains, but there is this question about whether it is the right equipment.”

He spoke after Lisa Anderson, a consultant cardiologist at St George’s Hospital in London, said the government had changed the rules so they were no longer compliant with World Health Organisation recommendations, which require medics to wear a full gown and visor. She said that since Monday, staff in the NHS only had to wear a simple face mask, short gloves and a pinafore apron.

“This is not just about the risk to ourselves and our families. We are travelling home on the Tube, on buses,” she told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.