Mark Manley, 35, hurled racial abuse and assaulted security staff as he was caught trying to pinch the protective items near Guy’s Hospital in central London.
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TAKING FROM HEROES
As a result of his raid some of the items – vital for NHS workers fighting the covid-19 outbreak – were no longer useable due to contamination.
Manley, of no fixed address, admitted stealing equipment from a stationery ambulance and assaulting a security guard at Croydon Magistrates’ Court.
He was jailed for six months.
Manley’s raid comes as the NHS desperately calls for more personal protective equipment (PPE) – with some doctors admitting they feel like “lambs to the slaughter” as a result of the shortage.
In some hospitals staff even resorted to wearing plastic bags to try and stop them catching and spreading coronavirus on the wards.
Last week Health Secretary Matt Hancock said millions of pieces of PPE have been sent out in recent days and a hotline has been set up so staff can report where there are shortages.
However, the British Medical Association said BMA said it has heard accounts of no stock, very small amounts of PPE, rationing and kit that does not offer sufficient protection.
BMA council chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: "This Government expects NHS staff to put themselves at risk of serious illness, or even death, by treating highly infectious Covid-19 patients without wearing proper protection. This is totally unacceptable.”
It comes as the UK coronavirus death rate shot up by another 50 per cent yesterday – after 563 people died in a single day.
The total number of patients who have died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus has gone up from 1,789 to 2,352.
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