Many UK doctors still do not have adequate protective equipment for treating coronavirus patients, a major survey of British medics has revealed.
The British Medical Association (BMA) announced its findings Saturday after surveying more than 6,000 doctors across the UK.
The results from its survey showed there is a lack of gowns and eye protection in particular, despite the UK government’s repeated promises that supply issues are being addressed.
Although there has been a slight improvement from its last survey, published on April 7, the BMA urged to government to do more to provide personal protective equipment.
Dr.Chaand Nagpaul, the BMA’s council chair, said: “Two months into the Covid-19 crisis in Britain, we shouldn’t still be hearing that doctors feel unprotected when they go to work,” he added.
“The government says that 1 billion items will soon have been shipped, and while there have been signs of improvement, our research clearly shows that equipment is not reaching all doctors working on the front line,” he added.
Of those doctors working in high-risk areas, more than a half said were shortages or no supply of full-face visors, according to the survey.
Around a half also said the same was true of long-sleeved disposable gowns and disposable goggles.
The BMA also found that doctors in general practice also reported shortages of eye protection.
These findings were released a day after Matt Hancock, the UK Health Secretary, said he could not guarantee that hospitals would not run out of gowns this weekend.
He added that the government was doing all it could to sort out supply issues.
Earlier this week in an interview with the BBC, Hancock described the deaths of 27 National Health Service (NHS) workers from coronavirus as “incredibly heartrending.”
The UK government released data on Monday showing that a third of NHS staff and key workers who have been tested for coronavirus returned positive results.
The number of coronavirus cases in the UK rose on Saturday by 888 to 15,464, according to the UK Department of Health and Social Care.
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