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NHS nurse treating Covid-19 patients reveals hospital asked staff to share protective masks

A NURSE blasted the government’s lack of preparations for the coronavirus today after revealing that her manager had asked colleagues to share protective masks and filters.

The NHS worker, identified only as Lorraine, warned that the health service was heading into a “war zone” as it tried to cope with thousands of Covid-19 patients.

On ITV’s Good Morning Britain she said: “Now filters have got bacteria in them, masks have got bacteria in them, these things do not get sterilised like you would your operating equipment.

“I cannot understand why I had to, and my colleagues had to, receive that message yesterday when we are just going into this tsunami.”

She emphasised that the hospital she worked for had done “everything in their power” to protect and train staff, but that Heath Secretary Matt Hancock had had months to prepare.

“China didn’t have four months, they had less than a week,” Lorraine said.

Manufacturer Professional Protective Systems has reported that masks that could have been used in the NHS were turned away a few weeks ago because local health authorities said they had “plenty.”

Shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner said he was “shocked” and “in despair” over the revelation.

Doctors’ Association UK chairman Dr Rinesh Parmar warned that doctors would be forced to quit during the pandemic due to the lack of protective equipment.

On Tuesday, Mr Hancock said that 7.5 million pieces of personal protective equipment, including masks, had been shipped out to front-line workers in the past day.

He added that a hotline had been set up which staff could call if they were running low on supplies.

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