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Tuesday 31st March 2020

Coronavirus: Army to distribute masks and protective suits to NHS staff

The Army are being drafted in to deliver much-needed safety protective equipment for hero doctors and nurses on the frontline.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves, aprons and protective suits will be delivered to hospital trusts "around the clock" while medics fight coronavirus.

Currently 5,700 people have been infected and 289 have lost their life to COVID-19.

NHS England revealed the Army would "play it's part from this week" in delivering PPE to where it's needed the most.

The army will be delivering much needed masks, gloves, aprons and protective suits to hospital trust (Credit: Scanpix/Cover Images)

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News: "We are taking urgent action to ensure dedicated frontline NHS and social care staff - who are working tirelessly to tackle this outbreak - feel supported.

"We are working around the clock to make sure trucks are on the ground across the country delivering protective equipment to all who need it, so they are well-equipped to continue to fight the virus."

This comes after a senior nurse told The Telegraph that Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow needed proper masks, gowns and gloves.

She revealed staff were forced to wear clinical waste bags on their heads and feet for protection.

4,000 NHS staff signed an open letter asking for more protective equipment (Credit: Newscom/Cover Images)

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"We had to use our initiative. We had no other choice or we would catch the virus ourselves," she said. "We need proper PPE kit now, or nurses and doctors are going to die. It's as simple as that.

"We're treating our own colleagues on the ward after they caught the virus from patients, how can that be right?

"There are so many younger here on ventilation - many with asthma or diabetes. They can't stop coughing, they just cough and cough and cough and they can't help it."

And the Sunday Times printed an open letter signed by 4,000 NHS workers asking that the issue of the "unacceptable shortage of protective equipment" be resolved.

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