UK government has reportedly said that nearly 400,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) ordered from Turkey do not meet British safety standards. According to the international media reports, half of the PPE kits was flown to the UK by the RAF previous month, which has not been handed over to the NHS workers and is stuck in a warehouse. It is still not clear if the government will seek a refund from the suppliers.
The Department of Health reportedly said that it was working "night and day to source PPE". As per reports, the inspectors discovered they were 'useless' and fell short of UK standards. The shipment was reportedly announced by the Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick on April 18. He claimed that 84 tonnes of PPE would arrive from Turkey the next day to aid NHS staff to battle coronavirus disease.
According to the reports, the Health and Safety inspectors branded the 400,000 gowns useless as they were left abandoned in a warehouse near Heathrow Airport. Senior NHS staff reportedly said that problems had been found with the type of material used and the length of the sleeves of the gowns. Mark Roscrow, the chairman of the Health Care Supplies Association, questioned why the government officials had failed to carry out proper checks before spending taxpayers' money.
Earlier, a British government official has said that delivery of protective equipment for UK health workers was due to arrive on April 19 from Turkey, but has been delayed. This comes as the hospitals across Britain are reporting a chronic shortage of gears especially for frontline fighters of the coronavirus outbreak. According to reports, the UK lawmakers had highlighted on April 18 that nearly an 84-tonne consignment was scheduled to come from Turkey with personal protective equipment including 400,000 gowns. However, an official from the UK foreign office had reportedly cited 'clearance and paperwork' as the cause of delay.