Matt Hancock announces the UK is to ‘stockpile’ protective gowns, masks and gloves as domestic firms sign deals to provide two BILLION items of PPE for the Government and the NHS
- Health Secretary said that authoritieds no longer struggling with demand
- Will now build up stocks against future outbreaks
- Domestic deals to produce two billion items for the NHS and care workers
- A further 3.7billion gloves will be made abroad for use in the UK
Matt Hancock announced the UK would begin to rebuild its stockpile of personal protective equipment today as he unveiled deals with British firms to produce two billion masks, gloves and gowns.
The Health Secretary said that enough PPE was being made and delivered to the NHS now that it was no longer firefighting to keep up with demand but was able to build up stocks against future outbreaks.
The Government has come under fierce attack in recent weeks and months over shortages and failures to create a manufacturing based here or bring in enough imports.
But leading the daily Downing Street press conference tonight Mr Hancock said: ‘We have seen a mammoth effort, we have ramped up domestic production.
‘I can announce that we have now signed contracts to manufacture two billion items of PPE here in the UK.
The Health Secretary said that enough PPE was being made and delivered to the NHS now that it was no longer firefighting to keep up with demand but was able to build up stocks against future outbreaks
Junior doctor Jared Leggett visits a patient at the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital in Blackburn while wearing PPE earlier this month
‘I set a national challenge and I’m absolutely delighted that Lord Deighton has stepped up and helped us to deliver against it.
‘Around the world we have signed deals with more than 100 new suppliers, including agreeing contracts for a further 3.7billion gloves
‘While we continue to improve logistics and work hard to get everyone the ppe that they need, these new supplies mean that we are not simply keeping up with demand, we are now able to begin to replenish our stockpile.
‘There is a lot further to go on PPE as on so may things but we have made significant progress and i would like to thank everybody involved.’
Britain today announced 134 more victims of the coronavirus, taking the country’s total death toll to 37,048.
The Department of Health also confirmed that 2,004 more people have tested positive for the disease, meaning 265,227 have received a diagnosis since the outbreak began in February.
Today marks the first day since March that no coronavirus deaths have been announced in Northern Ireland. It had recorded one on Monday and one on Sunday, but the last time the figure was zero was March 23 – pre-lockdown.
It comes after separate data today revealed fewer people died of coronavirus during the week between May 9 and May 15 in England and Wales than at any point over the past seven weeks.
Figures collated by the Office for National Statistics show the overall Covid-19 death toll in that week was 2,639 across the two nations, a drop of 1,235 from the week before. And the count is a fall of more than half from the peak of the outbreak – 8,180 people died from the coronavirus during the worst week, from April 11 to 17.
Experts today raised concern, however, about the number of people who have died in their own homes during the pandemic, noting that there appeared to have been around 1,700 deaths that were not caused by coronavirus and not among people who would have otherwise been expected to die in hospital.
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