‘Stop boasting!’ Piers Morgan lashes out at Dominic Raab over care home deaths

The ITV Good Morning Britain presenter accused the Foreign Secretary, who is standing in for Boris Johnson, of “boasting” about the UK’s strategy to tackle the viral disease instead of urgently addressing the serious lack of masks, visors, gloves and gowns. Mr Morgan tweeted: “UK care homes are exploding with coronavirus and 1,000s of carers are risking their lives without proper protection.

“Stop boasting about your successful plan Dominic Raab and get them the PPE they need – before it’s too late.”

One person responded: “My sister works in a care home she gets no equipment! At all!”

Another added: “The government have failed our old people and the carers who look after them.”

But others disagreed with Mr Morgan and accused him of “scaremongering”.

One follower tweeted: “My wife who is a care manager and was on lockdown in her home for 1 week informs me they have an abundance of PPE.”

New data from multiple European countries suggests around half of all coronavirus deaths occur in care homes.

The figures compiled in a report by academics at the London School of Economics focus on Spain, Italy, Ireland, France and Belgium.

The numbers suggest the UK’s death toll, which stands at 11,329, may, in fact, be much higher than what the government has claimed.

This is because the daily count includes only deaths in hospitals where patients had tested positive for COVID-19.

The former chief executive of the Care Quality Commission and non-executive director of HC-One, Britain’s largest care home operator, Sir David Behan said COVID-19 is present in two-thirds of their care homes.

Sir David told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We’ve been monitoring these numbers since the beginning of the outbreak and as of yesterday evening at 8 o’clock we’d had 2,447 of either suspected or confirmed COVID-19 within our care homes.

“It’s present in 232 of our homes which is about two-thirds of the total number of homes that we run.

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“And again, as of last night, there have been 311 residents who have died as a result of, or suspected, COVID-19. And indeed sadly over the weekend, we’ve lost one member of staff.”

He said coronavirus deaths accounted for about one-third of death that occurred in HC-One sites in the past three weeks.

On Monday Mr Raab suggested the lockdown is likely to be extended this week.

And the government said it might change its policy on people wearing masks outdoors.

He said Britain’s plan “is working” but that “we are still not past the peak of this virus”.

He added: “Keep this up, we have come too far, lost too many loved ones and sacrificed too much to ease up.”

On Saturday Home Secretary Priti Patel said she was sorry if people felt there had been failings in the supply of sufficient PPE to care staff.

Last week surgeons in at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford resorted to making their own facemasks to address the shortages.

Sarah Tucker, a reconstruction surgeon, and her team created the pioneering mask using a diving snorkel.

She said she would look into how to roll out the product in hospitals nationwide.

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