Coronavirus: “War Effort” Needed To Build Protective Equipment

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Mask held in gloved hands

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Apparel manufacturers, unions and health workers have called on the government to “spark a national effort” to make protective equipment for coronavirus.

They want the factories that have been put on hold to be reopened and reused to make masks, gowns and protective glasses for caregivers.

The government did not recognize a shortage of equipment, although it said there were distribution problems.

But doctors, nurses, and even NHS supply managers have now voiced their concerns.

A number of doctors, trusts and even a cabinet minister have established direct supply chains between manufacturers and their local hospitals.

  • UK ‘wastes time’ on orders for NHS protective gear

Unlike the national push for fans, which will result in the release of a few dozen new machines this weekend, the government has yet to call for a similar effort to manufacture Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which is also asked around the world. .

Some of the country’s most influential unions, including Unite, Unison, the British Medical Association and the Royal College of Nursing, as well as industry groups Make UK and the aerospace group ADS, have all signed up for a “call to arms” to that “UK PLC can take action”.

Steve Turner, Unite’s deputy secretary general, said: “We have inactive and underutilized plants and people when they could be used for public health.

“The government must now move from the sound clip to action and call to arms to existing suppliers, material suppliers and manufacturers … we could have an operational manufacturing army, producing a range of PPE and essential supplies, in a few days. “

ADS chief Paul Everitt said, “Manufacturers have the capabilities to help government and the NHS meet the challenges they face and we are working with them to make sure they can access the equipment they need. “

Dr. David Wrigley of the British Medical Association said that health care workers “face serious shortages” and “undergo a lottery by postal code” when it comes to life-saving protective equipment.

He said the government must “urgently lead a national campaign that has not been seen in peacetime and assist British manufacturers at this time to ensure that essential health workers and personal protective equipment need ”.

The collection of industry and workers’ representatives also called for temporary changes to copyright and patent rules to remove restrictions on the manufacture of protective equipment.

The government has said it is doubly prepared for a pandemic after storing protective gear in preparation for a pandemic, such as the coronavirus, as well as a Brexit without a deal. He said that 397 million items of protection had been distributed.

Other countries have organized massive purchases of protective gear. Italy, for example, has announced plans to make 90 million masks a month. France has ordered 600 million masks and the US state of California plans to buy 500 million.

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