Clap for more PPE

Redbridge residents are calling on others to do more than just clap for carers every Thursday.

By displaying signs calling for better protection for healthcare workers, they hope to encourage others to put more pressure on the government to meet its own testing targets.

Health secretary Matt Hancock yesterday renewed his promise to have 100,000 coronavirus tests every day by the end of this month, requiring a fivefold increase in just one week.

According to the website Nursing Notes, more than 100 health and social care professionals have died from the Covid-19 coronavirus across the nation.

Councillor Paul Donovan (Lab, Wanstead Village) said: “It is great that people are coming out to show their solidarity with health and social care workers every Thursday but we need to do more.

“It is a scandal that these people who are in the frontline of the struggle against Covid 19 are not being provided with the personal protection equipment needed.

“This should have been remedied weeks ago but as with much else government rhetoric lags behind reality on the ground.

“Equally the lack of mass testing means healthcare staff and the rest of us need to stay under lock down longer than would otherwise be the case.

“These are things that need urgently addressing to save lives and get our country out of this mess.

“So let’s applaud loudly our NHS and care workers but also demand urgent action on the ground from the government.”

Every week, residents have been standing outside their homes at 8pm to clap for carers and other essential workers risking their lives.

Some of these stunts have attracted criticism in the past, such as when Waltham Forest police were criticised for apparently failing to social distance while clapping outside Whipps Cross.

Healthcare workers thought to have lost their lives to coronavirus in east London include Dr Rajesh Kalraiya, Thomas Harvey and Amrik Bamotra.

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Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter