Coronavirus UK live: Matt Hancock under fire over PPE comments – live updates | World news

Good morning! I’m Lucy Campbell, here to take you through another day as the lockdown continues. The health secretary, Matt Hancock, is under fire from within the health sector after he said there is enough PPE to go around if used in line with official guidance and was “not being used more than is needed”.

He told BBC Breakfast this morning it was important that healthcare workers use the “right amount” of protective equipment as it is a “precious resource”. He added:

I am not impugning anyone who works for the NHS and I think they do an amazing job.

But what I am reiterating, stressing, is the importance to use the right amount of PPE both to have enough and also to use it as the precious resource that it is.

He also told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he did not blame any health workers who had used more PPE than was “strictly necessary” given the tough circumstances they faced. He said:

We have drawn up guidelines on what to use. It is really important that people don’t overuse PPE either.

I don’t want to impugn blame on people who have used more PPE than the guidelines suggest because I understand the difficulties in the circumstances.

What I would say it is very important to use the right PPE and not overuse it.

Of course there have been examples but I don’t want to stress that because I also understand the circumstances in which people might have used more PPE than was strictly necessary according to the guidelines.

But the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) dismissed any suggestions that healthcare staff were “abusing or overusing” PPE.

The RCN general secretary, Dame Donna Kinnair, told the Today programme this morning that no PPE was “more precious a resource than a healthcare worker’s life, a nurse’s life, a doctor’s life”.

Speaking later on BBC Breakfast she said that every day she was hearing from nurses saying they did not have enough protective equipment, adding:

I take offence actually that we are saying that healthcare workers are abusing or overusing PPE.

I think what we know is, we don’t have enough supply and not enough regular supply of PPE.

This is the number one priority nurses are bringing to my attention, that they do not have adequate supply of protective equipment.

The Labour leader Keir Starmer also found it “insulting” to suggest healthcare workers were “wasting” PPE.

Keir Starmer

It is quite frankly insulting to imply frontline staff are wasting PPE.

There are horrific stories of NHS staff and care workers not having the equipment they need to keep them safe.

The Government must act to ensure supplies are delivered.

April 11, 2020

After the UK recorded its deadliest daily rise on Friday, which was worse than both Italy and Spain at their peaks, Hancock also reminded the public to stay at home and maintain physical distancing this Easter bank holiday weekend.

He went on to pay tribute to the 19 NHS workers who have died after contracting coronavirus. He told BBC Breakfast:

My heart goes out to their families, these are people who have put themselves on the front line.

The work is going on to establish whether they caught coronavirus in the line of duty while at work or whether, like so many other people, caught it in the rest of their lives. It is obviously quite difficult to work that out.

What matters is we pay tribute to their service.

He also acknowledged the significance of the diversity of the NHS workers who have died – a high number of whom came from BAME backgrounds. He added:

I’m particularly struck at the high proportion of people from minority ethnic backgrounds and people who have come to this country to work in the NHS who have died of coronavirus.

I find it really upsetting actually and it is a testament to the fact that people who have come from all over the world have come and given their lives in service to the NHS and paid for that with their lives.

I think we should recognise their enormous contribution.

The Telegraph (paywall) has profiled those NHS workers who have lost their lives.

We’ll be bringing you all the latest UK coronavirus updates throughout the day as they come in.

As ever, your input is invaluable. So, if you have a story, any tips, suggestions, comments or ideas, please feel free to get in touch with me. You can email me at [email protected] or contact me via Twitter @lucy_campbell_.

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