UK: Pressure to provide equipment after 2 doctors die

Concern is growing among health workers that they risk contracting and spreading coronavirus


Guardian: The deaths of the first British doctors from Covid-19 have intensified pressure on ministers to accelerate the supply of protective equipment and address growing fears among frontline staff that they risk catching and spreading coronavirus.

As the UK’s death toll from the virus rose to 1,228 over the weekend, two surgeons were confirmed to have died in what the NHS medical director described as “a stark reminder to the whole country that we all must take this crisis seriously”.

Amged El-Hawrani, a 55-year-old ear, nose and throat consultant, died on Saturday at Leicester Royal Infirmary, while Adil El Tayar, 63, an organ transplant specialist, died on Wednesday at West Middlesex University Hospital in London, it emerged. Both had contracted Covid-19.

As they mourned the death of their colleagues, doctors’ and nurses’ groups attacked continuing shortages of protective equipment – from masks to gowns – and complained that there was still confusion despite fresh official guidance about their proper use. There were further calls to ramp up testing of NHS workers.

Jenny Harries, deputy chief medical officer, said fatalities were expected to increase. With Britain beginning its second full week under effective lockdown, she indicated that normal life was not likely to resume for three to six months – and “it is plausible it could go further than that”, she cautioned.  Read more, no pay wall…

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