(Photo: Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)

Two billion personal protection equipment (PPE) items have been delivered to the NHS and social care staff across the UK since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak, the government said on Thursday (June 25).

As many as 341 million masks, 313 million aprons, four million gowns and 1.1 billion gloves have been delivered to frontline workers in a bid to ensure the safety of the health, social care workers.

Almost 28 billion items of PPE have been ordered overall from UK-based manufacturers and international partners to provide a continuous supply in the coming months.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Coronavirus has placed unprecedented global demands on PPE supply chains. To tackle this we set a national challenge calling on companies to channel their manufacturing power into manufacturing much-needed PPE, and brought in Lord Deighton who has truly delivered once more for his country.

“Two billion items of PPE have now been delivered to the frontline, and a further 28 billion items sourced, that will protect frontline workers well into the future.

“It is thanks to the herculean effort from UK industry, the NHS and departmental teams, our diplomatic teams abroad, and the armed forces that we have now hit this impressive milestone.”

The normal supply chain for PPE was designed to accommodate delivery to 226 NHS Trusts, but essential PPE supplies are now being supplied to 58,000 different settings, including care homes, hospices and community care organisations.

Lord Paul Deighton, adviser to the health secretary on PPE, said: “The driving motivation of our team has been to supply our frontline workers with the PPE they need so they can focus on saving lives. This is why hitting this milestone matters and why I am so grateful to all the individuals and companies, both in the UK and overseas, who have contributed to this effort.

“Responding to a massive spike in our requirements and a significant global supply shortage, we have in a matter of weeks scaled up our international procurement, our domestic manufacturing and our logistics and distribution capabilities so that we can deliver PPE to where it’s needed.”

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