AROUND a quarter of frontline NHS staff were off last week because of coronavirus, a senior medic has revealed.
The staggering numbers heap yet more pressure on ministers to hurry up and roll out testing for every nurse and doctor.
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Dame Donna Kinnair, chief exec of the Royal College of Nursing, said more testing would let vital staff return to the frontline.
She told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “Last week it was about 20 per cent of nurses or frontline workers that were doing it.
“I don’t know what the proportion of nurses is in that, so it’s 20 to 25 per cent so there are a number of nurses who would like to be tested to get on with their job if they are not positive for Covid-19.”
Medics have warned that London is already being swamped by a “tsunami” of Covid-19 cases which risks overwhelming the capital.
The growing army of medics forced to stay home amid fears they are infected heaps yet more pressure on hospitals.
Dame Donna also warned that some nurses are being denied access to masks, aprons and other vital personal protective equipment.
Cabinet minister Michael Gove said the Government has been ramping up its efforts to get the vital life protecting kit to medics.
He told the BBC: “In the last few days we have got tens of millions of gloves to the frontline, tens of millions of masks to the frontline, and also cleaning equipment which is a compliment to that and we are increasing production.
“We are seeking to get the maximum amount of personal protection equipment from other countries.”
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