"Would you go to Covid-19 ward without PPE?": Andrew Castle grills Tory MP

18 April 2020, 09:12 | Updated: 18 April 2020, 09:18

By Seán Hickey

Questions have been asked over who is at fault for a PPE shortage in the UK. This Conservative MP said the issue isn't a matter of fault.

Saqib Bhatti, Conservative MP for Meriden joined Andrew Castle on the line to discuss the lack of PPE in the fight against coronavirus.

"We are asking people to risk their lives because we don't have the right equipment" Andrew stated. He asked Mr Bhatti who is at fault for the UK not having enough PPE equipment for its health workers.

"I don't think this is a matter of fault" the Conservative MP said. He claimed that the issue with trying to source the equipment at this moment in time is that there is a "global strain on the provision of a certain plastic" which is used in medical visors.

Mr Bhatti assured Andrew that the strain can be managed and that the government are now working hard to combat the strain, it's just a matter of waiting at this moment while we expect PPE stocks to arrive.

The UK's stocks of PPE are expected to dry up over the weekend
The UK's stocks of PPE are expected to dry up over the weekend. Picture: PA

Mr Bhatti told Andrew that the numbers involved in the fight back is unprecedented, claiming that the government anticipated having to only provide equipment for less than 1,000 healthcare settings. He said the actual number is around 58,000.

Andrew wanted to know if the government should apologise for their slow reaction, the MP for Meridan insisted that the government is acting as fast and hard as it can.

"We've already distributed over a billion pieces of PPE" he said. Mr Bhatti added that there are people working around the clock to get PPE to frontline workers during the crisis.

Andrew asked Mr Bhatti if he would "walk into a covid-19 ward without the correct equipment" as he believes the government are asking staff to go without. The Conservative MP insisted that the government are doing all they can to fix the issue, reminding Andrew again that there is a global strain on stocks and raw materials.