Lack of PPE results in 45 NHS Covid-19 deaths with almost a third of UK health professionals now infected

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The number of UK NHS staff to have died from coronavirus (Covid-19) has now risen to 45.

THE latest casualties include a pregnant nurse, a 62-year-old hospital consultant and a 48-year-old healthcare assistant. The 28-year-old nurse died on Sunday after an emergency caesarean. Dr Peter Tun, a father-of-two, who had worked at the Royal Berkshire Hospital for more than 21 years, died in the intensive care unit at a hospital in Reading on Monday. Ade Raymond, who was working as a healthcare assistant for NHS, also passed away from the deadly disease.

The rising number of NHS worker deaths is attributed to the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE). Sadly, nurses, doctors, technicians and health workers are among the NHS staff to have died from the pandemic. Some of these deaths include doctors who came out of retirement to provide assistance during the pandemic, as well many who came to the UK from overseas, from countries such as Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Syria and Jordan.

Around a third of NHS are now suspected to be infected with the virus, and many attribute this to a severe lack of PPE. NHS staff on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic have been calling on the government to provide adequate PPE. Given the severe shortages, many hospitals have been forced to carry out their own fundraising campaigns, such as crowdfunding to raise money for PPE for its staff. NHS staff are also reported to be resorting to finding their own PPE, as they simply don’t have the equipment they need to keep them safe.

The UK government has faced huge criticism for not doing enough to source PPE supplies for the NHS. Despite, the lack of vital medical equipment, the UK’s Health Secretary just last week said that the UK supply of PPE will “stretch to meet demand if the precious resource is used in line with our guidance.” In response, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer quite rightly pointed out that it’s “frankly insulting to imply frontline staff are wasting PPE. The government must act to ensure supplies are delivered.”

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Pepi Sappal

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