NHS nurses have reported being spat at in a swathe of abusive incidents in the coronavirus pandemic.
Dozens of workers for the health service are said to have spoken out about being abused and discriminated against by members of the public, their trade union has said.
Vital staff working to save lives on the frontlines of the outbreak have reported being spat at, with some even being called 'disease spreaders' by strangers on the street.
Condemning the reports, The Royal College of Nursing branded the actions of the abusers "abhorrent" and urged people to be kind to NHS staff, many of whom could themselves become victims of the deadly flu-like bug.
As reported by the Independent, union policy director Susan Masters said: "I am speaking up for nurses and nursing in every possible setting. Today I hear from community nurses that they are being heckled at and verbally abused in the street and called 'disease spreaders'. This is abhorrent behaviour, it must stop.
"They are going in to see patients and caring for them when everyone else is keeping their distance. The public need to understand that nurses are socially critical and right now society needs us more than ever."
This is abhorrent behaviour, it must stop.
And speaking on BBC Breakfast, Ruth May, England's chief nursing officer, said: "I've seen all over Twitter some of our nurses and midwives and care staff being spat at and being abused by member of the public. Please be very kind to your nurses and midwives because you may need them very soon."
It follows reports that a man aged just 41 has become the youngest person in Britain to die from coronavirus.
On Saturday (March 21) evening, officials reported 56 new deaths across the UK in 24-hours.
It is the biggest rise in a single day to date and brings the coronavirus death toll to 233.
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