Based on figures launched Monday, 16,888 individuals who fall into the class of “key employees and their households,” and who’ve proven signs or reside with symptomatic individuals, have been examined. To this point, 5,733 — or 34 p.c — have been confirmed to have the virus.
The federal government has been beneath intense strain to ramp up testing for NHS employees and their households, and to enhance their entry to applicable private protecting gear (PPE).
Well being Secretary Matt Hancock has beforehand mentioned that the last word purpose is to offer testing to all NHS employees no matter signs.
However the degree of testing within the UK stays drastically decrease than a number of European international locations. Responding to criticism over the speed, Hancock mentioned on April 2 he would improve the quantity from 10,000 to 100,000 checks per day by the tip of the month — saying he was “decided we’ll get there”.
On April 12, nevertheless, solely 14,506 checks have been carried out in response to his Well being Division, suggesting the federal government is considerably behind that purpose.
On the difficulty of apparatus, in the meantime, Hancock mentioned Sunday that the federal government was “working night time and day to be sure that we get the precise PPE.”
At the very least 19 NHS employees battling the coronavirus pandemic have died, and quite a few associations representing medical employees have complained that they haven’t been supplied with sufficient PPE to soundly deal with Covid-19 sufferers.
On Monday, the Royal School of Nursing issued steering that employees have been entitled to refuse to work if they didn’t really feel snug doing so: “If the employer doesn’t present applicable PPE and a secure working setting, as an worker you’ll be able to refuse to take care of a affected person.”
The union emphasised that this ought to be a “final resort,” and that “you will need to have the ability to justify your resolution as affordable, so preserve a written file of the security considerations that led you to withdraw therapy.”
Donna Kinnair, the union’s chief govt, instructed the BBC on Saturday that British nurses would not have sufficient safety.
“My inbox, every day, that is the primary precedence that nurses are bringing to my consideration — that they don’t have sufficient provides of PPE gear,” she mentioned.