A total of 27 National Health Service workers have died from coronavirus, the United Kingdom's Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Thursday in an interview with the BBC.
He called the NHS workers' deaths “incredibly heartrending”.
The background: According to figures released Monday, a third of NHS staff and key workers who have been tested for coronavirus in the UK have returned positive results.
Not all NHS staff are being tested for the virus. Health workers who are asymptomatic -- and do not live with people who are -- do not meet the UK's criteria for testing.
The British government has been under intense pressure to ramp up testing for NHS workers and their families, and to improve their access to appropriate personal protective equipment.