Great Britain

Coronavirus latest: MP's desperate plea for care home workers to be tested to help elderly

Peter Kyle has written a letter to the Prime Minister asking his government to enforce care home worker coronavirus testing to prevent the deaths of countless elderly residents. The MP for Hove, gave his followers a first glimpse of the letter on Twitter.

In the post, he wrote: “My letter to Boris Johnson.

“There‘s only one way to keep care home residents safe: test workers and ensure COVID-19 never enters a home in the first place.

“Right now some homes are petri-dishes for contagion within and between homes.

“Staff are angels and heroes, but need help.”

Boris Johnson has been urged to enforce care worker testing to protect the lives of the elderly

Boris Johnson has been urged to enforce care worker testing to protect the lives of the elderly (Image: GETTY)

Many care workers are considered 'essential workers' an have to use public transport with others

Many care workers are considered 'essential workers' an have to use public transport with others (Image: GETTY)

It comes as Mr Kyle posed the question to Mr Johnson in last week’s PMQ’s.

There, the Hove MP told Mr Johnson about a 94-year-old care home resident who test positive for COVID-19 but had to wait ten days to be tested.

Mr Kyle went on to explain that in the ten days it took the elderly resident to be tested, a further 14 residents and seven staff developed symptoms.

In a thread in the same tweet, Mr Kyle wrote: “Care homes are being rationed to five tests per home. This is woeful and dangerous, but a symptom of the UK having too few tests available and a failure to upscale testing facilities fast enough.

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Tests in the UK are soon to be ramped up with 8,000 having taken place on Monday alone

Tests in the UK are soon to be ramped up with 8,000 having taken place on Monday alone (Image: GETTY)

“The PM promised protective equipment by the end of last week to every care home. This hasn’t happened.

“250 light face masks have been delivered to some. But due to the close contact of social care work, workers caring with infected residents need full body protection.

“There’s about 150 hospitals in Nritain and we’re rightly focussed on the needs of frontline NHS staff.

“There’s about 18,000 care homes and they’ve been overlooked in the national debate. That must change: vulnerable lives depend on it.”

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Italy has faced more than 100,000 cases of the virus and the highest number of deaths

Italy has faced more than 100,000 cases of the virus and the highest number of deaths (Image: GETTY)

The increase in new confirmed cases in Italy is currently at its lowest - 4 percent

The increase in new confirmed cases in Italy is currently at its lowest - 4 percent (Image: GETTY)

Mr Johnson has yet to comment on the letter.

Meanwhile, a 13-year-old boy who tested positive for coronavirus died yesterday.

The death was confirmed by King’s College Hospital Trust in London.

A spokesperson for the trust said the boy’s death had been referred to the coroner but gave no further details.

The measures currently in place in the UK's lockdown

The measures currently in place in the UK's lockdown (Image: Express Newspapers )

In a statement, the trust said: "Sadly, a 13-year old boy who tested positive for Covid-19 has passed away, and our thoughts and condolences are with the family at this time.

"The death has been referred to the coroner and no further comment will be made."

The UK experienced its biggest daily coronavirus death increase so far on Monday.

The NHS is currently overwhelmed with the number of coronavirus patients it's receiving

The NHS is currently overwhelmed with the number of coronavirus patients it's receiving (Image: GETTY)

It takes the total number of deaths to 1,789.

In the government’s daily virus briefing, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove - standing in for Prime Minister Boris Johnson who is self isolating - said the UK must ramp up its testing capacity for coronavirus.

The government has set a target of carrying out 25,000 tests a day.

However, the new goal is not expected to be reached until the end of April.

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