A protective PPE Kit delivery for UK NHS workers due to arrive from Turkey today (April 19) has been delayed for ‘days.’
THE massive shipment had been trumpeted by the UK government yesterday as a sign that they were taking serious action to reduce the criticism of poor PPE stocks.
Communities minister Robert Jenrick said in the Saturday Downing Street briefing that a large consignment of equipment including 400,000 gowns would arrive today.
No reason for the hitch has been given in what is an embarrassing piece of news for the government, which is taking constant flack over poor protective supplies and a failure in their Covid-19 test programme.
A government spokesman confirmed the delay, saying they were working “to ensure the shipment is delivered as soon as possible.”
A source told the BBC they hoped it would arrive in the coming days, but there have been other instances where promised shipments from Turkey have been delayed to other European countries.
Recently, a consignment of ventilators to Spain was held up, though both governments in Madrid and Ankara denied there was a problem.
The UK pledge to get more PPE kits came after warnings that some hospitals’ intensive care units could run out of gowns very soon.
NHS staff were given advice to reuse gowns if supplies became low.
NHS England’s medical director Prof Stephen Powis said for the guidance on the use of protective equipment to be properly followed, it was “absolutely critical above everything else that we have the supplies of PPE going out to the front line.”
Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr, cabinet minister Michael Gove said that the country had built up stocks of PPE in expectation of a flu pandemic, but admitted that there was a “worldwide pressure” on supplies.