Leave protective gear for medical staff, says UK health minister
Updated 22:11, 11-Apr-2020
Tim Hanlon in London

UK Health Minister Matt Hancock has told people that PPE (personal protective equipment) is a "precious resource" and should not be used unless there is a medical or social care need.

With daily COVID-19 deaths reaching a new high of 980 and overall fatalities standing at 8,958, the health minister once again reinforced the message to stay at home.

Hancock said that it was his "goal" to provide all medical staff, who are playing a critical role in taking on the COVID-19 outbreak, with PPE.

He said: "As we stay at home, they go off to work to care for us and we owe it to them to get them the kit they need to protect themselves."

Matt Hancock says PPE is a 'precious resource' that should only be used where needed. /Pippa Fowles/AFP

Matt Hancock says PPE is a 'precious resource' that should only be used where needed. /Pippa Fowles/AFP

While Hancock was adamant there was enough PPE in supply, he pointed out that only those providing medical and social care needed to have it.

He said: "There is enough PPE to go round but only if it is used in line with our guidance. We need everyone to treat PPE like the precious resource that it is. 

"That means only using it when there is a clinical need and not using more than is needed."

He reinforced the fact that there is a high demand internationally for PPE and that new logistics have had to be put in place, which he said meant people who didn't require it shouldn't be using it.

Hancock said: "In most circumstances, the best way to protect yourself and protect others is to regularly wash your hands and wherever possible to keep at least two meters between you and other people when you leave your house. The most important way to protect yourself is to stay at home."