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 has reportedly cited 'clearance and paperwork' as the cause of delay.
Meanwhile, the UK has confirmed at least 114,217 cases of coronavirus with 15,464 fatalities, which has left several hospitals under strain. The staff of the National Health Service (NHS) has even criticised the British government for suggesting that the medical personnel treating COVID-19 patients can re-use their gears, as the supply runs low. The chair of the British Medical Association, which represents UK doctors, Helena McKeown told a British media outlet that the news of PPE consignment being delayed would be “devastating” for health professionals.
While speaking to an international media outlet, UK Cabinet Office minister, Michael Gove, said that the outbreak is ‘deeply worrying’ as the death toll has now surpassed 15,000. Gove reportedly said that facts and advice are clear at the moment that the country ‘should not be thinking’ of the lifting of the restrictions yet. Moreover, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s top medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty has said that the pandemic is “probably reaching the peak overall” in the country.
British officials have said that it is ‘too soon’ to ease the restrictions on lockdown imposed nationwide to curb the spread of coronavirus. According to reports, many officials even warned that Europe might witness a severe death rate due to failure of government. While speaking at a daily news conference at Downing Street, Witty noted that slowdown in new infections of COVID-19 in the country is a positive sign, however, the country would still record a spike in the number of deaths.