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Covid: Health workers appeal to PM for better personal protection

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Nearly 20 major healthcare bodies are appealing to the Prime Minister for better personal protection against coronavirus.

They say at least 930 health and care workers have died of COVID-19 and more are experiencing long-term effects.

In a letter, they say measures to stop airborne spreading are "inadequate" and call for urgent improvement in masks and other defences against variants.

The government said it was monitoring evidence on airborne transmission and would update advice "where necessary".

The organisations involved represent a wide range of health professionals, from doctors and nurses to dieticians and physiotherapists. Their approach to Downing Street follows repeated efforts to raise the issue with others in government.

With health and care workers at three to four times greater risk of becoming infected than the general public, the plea to Boris Johnson is to make an "urgent intervention to prevent further loss of life". It says current policies focus on contaminated surfaces and droplets - for which the best defences are hand hygiene and social distancing - but not on airborne transmission by tiny infectious aerosols.

The groups are demanding:

  • ventilation is improved
  • better respiratory protection, such as FFP3 masks, are provided
  • healthcare guidance reflects the evidence of airborne transmission.

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Source: BBC News, 19 February 2021

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