Government plans to stockpile BODY BAGS, aprons and face masks amid the coronavirus outbreak in the UK which experts warn will infect thousands

Tuesday, March 10, 2020
By Paul Martin

A leaked memo sent across the country lists essential items for hospitals
It was sent by a Government office to forums that link health and police services
Medics have warned the NHS will come under immense pressure due to virus
Cases in the UK have crept up to 321 since March 5. Five people have died
The Government has repeatedly told the public there is ‘no need’ to stockpile
The nation is in a grip of essential product shortages in store as people panic buy

By VANESSA CHALMERS HEALTH REPORTER
DAILYMAIL.COM
10 March 2020

The Government has made plans to stockpile body bags, aprons and face masks amid UK coronavirus outbreak, it has been claimed.

A leaked memo sent to local authorities across England listed essential hospital items which are in high demand and even being stolen.

It includes alcohol hand sanitiser, gloves and protective eyewear, items which are often imported from outside Europe and feared to be running low.

It comes after the British Government said there was ‘no need’ for the public to stockpile, as worried shoppers have cleared shelves in the past week.

The nation is in a grip of essential product shortages in store, including dry food, toilet roll and soap.

Cases in the UK have crept up to 373 – six patients have now died.

But England’s top doctors have warned thousands more are likely to be infected yet, and the outbreak will peak within the next two weeks.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Jenny Harries said today: ‘Large numbers of the population will become infected because it’s a naive population – nobody has got antibodies to this virus currently.

‘We will see many thousands of people infected by coronavirus, that’s what we’re seeing in other countries.

Asked when the rapid increase of infections might end, she said: ‘Within 10 to 14 days we will be likely to advise people with symptoms to self-isolate and we are expecting that start of the peak to come within that period.’

Following a dramatic increase in cases since mid-February, a government email, seen by The Sun, was sent with ‘high importance’ to local authorities, which include various public services such as the NHS and emergency services.

It was written by ‘Red Control’ – the emergencies division in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) who is responsible for supporting communities responding to emergencies, such as flooding.

A list was compiled of personal protective equipment considered as part of a ‘stockpiling exercise’.

Forums were told to hoard body bags, which are used for dead bodies, and clinical waste bags, for fluids such as diarrhoea and blood.

Aprons, gloves, eye protectors and face masks for nurses and doctors were included, as well as sanitisers such as detergent and environmental cleaner, liquid hand soap and alcohol hand rub.

Oxygen blood level kits, known as pulse oximetry, were told to be saved, presumably because COVID-19 causes shortness of breath, patient gowns, fit test kits and solutions.

An MHCLG spokesperson said: ‘The Government is planning for every eventuality including the reasonable worst case scenario, that is why we have published our Action Plan. Crucially, this does not mean we expect it to happen.

The Rest…HERE

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