Saturday 25 April 2020 12:11 AM UTC
London April 25: An Indian-origin doctor couple have initiated legal action against the UK government for the shortage of as well as “unclear” guidance issued on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) across the state-funded National Health Service (NHS) during the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr Nishant Joshi and his pregnant wife, Dr Meenal Viz, are challenging the lawfulness of the PPE guidance published by the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England, and the government’s failure to source essential PPE domestically and from the European Union (EU).
They say they have been exposed to patients with Covid-19 and are concerned that current PPE guidance and availability is inadequate.
“We are incredibly concerned at the ever-growing numbers of healthcare workers who are becoming seriously unwell and dying due to Covid-19.
It is the government’s duty to protect its healthcare workers, and there is great anxiety amongst staff with regards to safety protocols that seem to change without rhyme or reason,” the couple said in a joint statement
issued this week through the London-headquartered law firm Bindmans LLP.
“Every time a healthcare worker becomes hospitalized with COVID-19, it exacts an extraordinary toll on our friends, family and colleagues. To sedate and ventilate your own colleague takes a mental toll on the entire workforce,” they said.
“The government owes an apology to these bereaved families, many of whom were unable to be with their loved ones in their dying moments. Their trauma and grief is unimaginable – we want to ensure that no other family has to endure this suffering.”
Mr Joshi, a general practitioner (GP) trainee, has been leading a social media campaign for weeks over the safety guidance and supply of PPE for medical staff. Wife Ms Viz, a clinical fellow in medicine, was recently pictured outside Downing Street dressed in full medical scrubs and a surgical mask holding a placard reading: “Protect Healthcare Workers”.
The couple add: “All we ask for is accountability from decision-makers, and that all evidence leading to these decisions should be published and transparent.
“We are doctors, we are nurses and we are healthcare workers – we will be there for you in your time of need. We will be there for your family. The government needs to protect us, so that we can protect you.” – PTI
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