The United Kingdom is currently facing a shortage of personal protective equipment and media reports suggest that British healthcare staff has been advised by Public Health England to treat COVID-19 patients without proper gear. According to reports, Public Health England has made changes to its guidelines that earlier specified the doctors to wear full-length, waterproof surgical gowns, now say that plastic aprons can be worn as an alternative option if protective gowns run out of stock.
Media reports suggest that doctors and nurses have been advised to re-use and wear their already used surgical gowns because of the shortage. British health secretary Matt Hancock while briefing a committee of parliamentarians admitted that the United Kingdom was facing a shortage of gowns but assured them of delivering the equipment where it was needed the most by the end of the week as 55,000 more gowns were expected to arrive by April 17.
As of April 18, 52 medical staff members that include both doctors and nurses have lost their lives in the United Kingdom due to COVID-19. Health experts say the deaths could have been avoided by providing proper PPE kits to carers. According to data by worldometer, the United Kingdom has recorded more than 1,08,600 cases so far, of which over 14,500 people have lost their lives. There are currently 93,772 active cases while 1,559 remain under critical condition.
The coronavirus pandemic has infected over 2.25 million people globally and has killed nearly 1,54,000 patients since it first broke out in December 2019. The virus is believed to have originated from a seafood market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the initial epicentre of the disease, where animals were reportedly being traded illegally. Currently, the United States, Italy, Spain, France and the United Kingdom are the most affected countries in the world with a recorded death toll of 14,000 and above.
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