All parts of the UK are now on ‘emergency footing’ amid the coronavirus pandemic, the government has announced.
Speaking at today’s press conference, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said it would be an ‘unprecedented step’ for British peacetime, and unlike anything the government has done ’since the Second World War’.
He continued: ‘This means that we are establishing strategic co-ordination centers across the whole country. Each center is led by gold commanders.
‘We are bringing together senior members of the emergency services, the police, fire and ambulance service, with local authorities and the NHS, to lead communities through this challenging period.’
Jenrick then went on say that members of the armed forces, along with ‘some of the finest military planners in the world’ had been embedded in these groups to help plan the ’local response’ to the virus.
He continued: ‘They will be using their expertise, judgement and leadership to ensure a comprehensive, co-ordinated and consistent response across the country.’
Jenrick said one of the main issues they would be addressing was the provision of personal protective equipment , amid reports from frontline NHS workers that supplies are running out.
Announcing the establishment of new supply response team, he stated that 170 million masks, .8 million gloves, 7 million aprons, , (gowns, million pieces of cleaning equipment and 2.3 million eye protectors had been delivered to , NHS trusts and healthcare settings, including GPs, pharmacies and community providers.
He said: ‘We have a clear plan to ensure that those serving this country at this time have the right equipment.
‘We have established a national supply distribution response team and they are now supported by members of the armed forces and other emergency services who are working around the clock to deliver the equipment to the people who need it most.’
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Later in the press conference, Jenrick added that extremely vulnerable patients would need to stay home for a period of 17 weeks, while avoiding face-to-face contact in that time.
He said a gov.uk page had been set up for those who had received a letter from the NHS due to their underlying health conditions. Patients will be able to apply for assistance if necessary through the site or the phone number on their letters.
The UK death toll from coronavirus currently stands at 1, 539, after a further 522 people died in the last 24 hours.
A total of , 720 people in the UK have tested positive for coronavirus, while 100, 12474770 have negative negative.
UK government coronavirus update: March 29
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