April 24, 2020 / 6:57 AM / a month ago

Britain not asking doctors to compromise on protective gear - minister

Britain's Health Secretary Matt Hancock speaks during a daily news conference on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain April 23, 2020. Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/Handout via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - Guidance for personal protective equipment (PPE) in hospitals is based on clinical advice and does not ask doctors to compromise on safety, British health minister Matt Hancock said on Friday after two doctors launched legal action against the government.

The two doctors, a husband and wife who are expecting a child, have been exposed to patients with COVID-19 and are concerned that current PPE guidance and availability are inadequate to protect them from infection.

“The guidelines for what PPE is used are supported by and entirely based on clinical advice of what is the most effective use of this precious equipment,” Hancock told ITV.

Asked if doctors were being asked to compromise on equipment, Hancock said: “I don’t recognise that.”

Reporting by Alistair Smout and Guy Faulconbridge

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