More than 100 Scottish medics have written to the government about PPE

More than 100 medics in Scotland have signed a letter to the Scottish Government to express concerns over personal protective equipment (PPE)

The letter is reported to claim front-line staff are risking their lives dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak because they do not have suitable aprons, masks and eyewear, according to BBC Scotland.

The broadcaster reports the medical professionals state they have "grave concerns about the adequacy of what has been given".

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It comes after several UK healthcare workers have died from coronavirus, including Caroline Sweeney, a care worker from Dumbartonshire.

NHS staff have called for better personal protective equipment. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

The Scottish Government response

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said protecting health workers was "paramount".

"We will continue to engage with Unison and other bodies on this issue and we'll have an ongoing dialogue with them and other partners to ensure all health and social care workers have equipment available to wear as appropriate,” they added.

"More than six million pieces of PPE have now been delivered to more than 1,000 locations, including care homes".

‘Quality not quantity’

Dr Shahzad Hanif, a GP, co-ordinated the open letter told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland that a lot of PPE was simply not up to scratch.

"It's not just the quantity of PPE, which the Government has so far been focused on,” he said, “but it's the quality that we feel is simply not adequate to provide enough protection for us.

Dr Hanif explained that the masks typically being provided are "fluid resistant surgical masks", which are designed to stop the wearer from spreading the disease.

But they are now being used by NHS staff to prevent the wearer from becoming infected with coronavirus, according to Dr Hanif - something they were not designed to do.

The signatories of the letter are demanding more "N95 masks" - more tightly woven, tighter fitting, and effective against Covid-19.

Poor global supply

In his interview with the BBC, Dr Hanif said the supply of N95 masks around the world was “pretty poor”, but insisted that they could be manufactured in Scotland.

"These are not complex pieces of equipment to produce,” he said, “They're not technical pieces of equipment.

“They can be easily produced and we would ask and request that the government start doing this.”

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