It’s very disappointing news that one-third of NHS staff and key health workers tested positive for COVID-19 in UK, amid concerns over access to protective equipment, its showed by new British government data.
As per the latest figures released Monday, 16,888 people who fall into the category of “key workers and their households,” and who have shown symptoms or live with symptomatic people, have been tested. So far, 5,733 or 34% were confirmed to have the virus.
The health workers who are not symptomatic and do not live with people who do not meet the UK’s criteria for testing, so the number is not necessarily representative of all workers.
The ultimate goal is to provide a testing facility to all NHS workers regardless of symptoms, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.
The UK government has been under a lot of pressure to speed up the testing for NHS workers and their families and to improve their access to proper personal protective equipment.
The level of testing in the UK is drastically lower than in several European countries. Hancock said on April 2 while responding to criticism over the rate, he would increase the number from 10,000 to 100,000 tests per day by the end of the month by saying he was “determined we’ll get there”.
14,506 tests were conducted on April 12, according to his Health Department, suggesting the government is significantly behind that goal.
Meanwhile, Hancock said on Sunday on the issue of equipment, that the government was working day and night to make sure that we get the right PPE.
19 NHS workers battling the coronavirus pandemic have died so far and numerous associations representing medical workers have whined that they have not been provided with enough PPE to safely treat COVID-19 in UK.