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Times letters: PPE and council tax

PUBLISHED: 12:30 26 April 2020

PPE equipment is in short supply. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Images

PPE equipment is in short supply. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Images

PA Wire/PA Images

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Times’ readers this week.

Staff protection is inadequate

Soodi Balali, Willesden Green, writes:

I am dismayed at the government’s handling of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The World Health Organisation guidelines published on March 19 are clear. They state that “healthcare workers providing direct care to Covid-19 patients” should have: medical mask, gown, gloves, eye protection (goggles or face shield).

This is the minimum PPE that frontline NHS workers should have. Those in higher risk situations, eg intensive care, should have more extensive protection.

The government says that they are taking action. But even the latest Gov.UK guidelines released last week, still do not meet WHO standards, particularly with regard to gowns.

Health secretary Matt Hancock has spoken of the “Herculean” PPE effort but this is unfortunately not being felt by many frontline workers who remain inadequately protected. 38 per cent of users of the NHS PPE app reported having no eye protection at all.

Many frontline staff do not have access to long sleeved gowns and have to take their potentially infected uniforms home to wash themselves, which also puts their families at risk.

These are just some of the reasons why I, along with over 738,000 others, have joined the campaign on change.org calling for adequate PPE for all frontline NHS workers.

You may also want to watch:

Would you please support our cause and publicise the issue.

This tax rise is extremely unjust

Trevor Ellis, Chalkhill Road, Wembley, writes:

I think that it was extremely unjust for the Labour council cabinet, whose party, claims to adhere to the centre-left of the political spectrum, to recently approved the 3.99 per cent rise in council tax for 2020/21.

In addition to that, they also approved a 2 per cent allowance increase in line with the local government pay inflation settlement.

In late May, I’ll pay £80 to Brent Council who’ll take part of it to cover the cost of making “Brent cleaner”.

Yet, I’ve yet to see evidence to convince me that I’m getting value in return because I regularly see litter-strewn pavements, and grass verges from one place to another in Brent.

It’s also clear that the “Love where you live” slogan isn’t getting through to the people who are responsible for the untidy state of Brent neighbourhoods.

While residents are going around with facemasks, to avoid spreading the coronavirus, they don’t seem to show much concern about where they discard their plastic gloves, several are seen strewn across the pavements and roads in Wembley Park.

That along with people smoking while waiting to go into local supermarkets, makes me feel anything other than pessimistic for the future health of Brent physically and environmentally.


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