UK to produce two billion PPE

The Government is to rebuild its stockpile of personal protective equipment (PPE), the Health Secretary has announced. Global shortages of the protective gear frontline staff need to keep them safe left many health and care workers under-equipped while battling Covid-19 during the early stages of the pandemic. Gallery: How countries are edging out of Covid-19 lockdown (Photo Services) Even as the world continues to battle the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, several countries, where the daily growth of new infections has reduced, are beginning to take tentative steps to ease lockdown measures in order to allow citizens to move freely for the first time in weeks and to revive the economy. “We all heard in the early weeks of the crisis, the calls from the front line for more and better PPE, and we all saw the global scramble to acquire it. “General Sir Nick Carter, chief of the defence staff, said himself this is the single greatest logistical challenge that he’d faced in his 40 years of service. “While we continue to improve the logistics and work hard to get everyone, the PPE that they need these new supplies mean that we’re not simply keeping up with demand, we are now able to begin to replenish our stockpiles. And we’ll do that for as long as the virus remains on these shores.” Later in the briefing, Mr Hancock was asked about NHS staff not being properly “fit tested” for PPE. In the UK, desperate staff described how they were left in tears over shortages, with some being forced to buy their own equipment online and others “hiding” gear in hospital to ensure they had enough for their next shift. The Government has faced heavy criticism on the issue, particularly over the death of a doctor who died after warning about a lack of the equipment. Five days before he was admitted to hospital, Dr Chowdhury, 53, wrote a Facebook post asking Prime Minister Boris Johnson to urgently provide every NHS worker with PPE. Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive at NHS Providers, said: “Since the pandemic began, there have been considerable difficulties around PPE, including accessing particular items such as gowns, and the withdrawal of Tiger Eye goggles. For example, there’s been an initiative in the north east involving Barbour who have used their factory in South Shields to make gowns for a range of trusts in the surrounding area.” _______________________________