NHS workers across the country have been left in tears after shop workers greeted them with applause and flowers at UK supermarkets during a dedicated shopping hour for key workers amid coronavirus panic buying.
Supermarkets up and down the country including Tesco and Sainsbury’s enforced a shopping hour just for key workers last week after frenzied shoppers cleared the shelves of essential items such as toilet roll, as well as cupboard staples such as pasta and tinned foods.
The illness has so far killed 335 people, with 6,650 cases having been confirmed in the UK, and the increased panic had meant workers were not able to get their hands on supplies.
Supermarket workers today lined up at the entrance of a store in Swansea and clapped as nurses and doctors walked through the doors.
NHS workers posted pictures of the flowers they received during the special hour put on for NHS staff
As NHS workers entered the store in Swansea today they received a round of applause from workers
NHS workers queue outside Costco in Thurrock , as Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the government is ready to impose tougher restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus if people do not follow the guidance on social distancing
This is while stores in Truro, Newton and Shrewsbury also gave workers bouquets of flowers.
The medical staff in Swansea were visiting the Tesco store in Llansamlet to shop for food before getting back to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
One shopper said: ‘It’s time to thank our NHS workers. They are around the clock and risking their own lives to save others.
‘They are the everyday heroes who are doing something incredible all as part of their day job.’
One social media user posted this picture of a Tesco store in Newtown today, the store had been giving flowers to workers
Beautiful bouquets! NHS workers posted pictures of the flowers they had received while doing their shopping
One NHS worker was given these flowers while shopping in Tesco today as a thank you
Tesco is allowing NHS workers to shop for an hour each day before the store opens to the general public.
Another shopper said: ‘We have never needed our doctors and nurses more.’
NHS workers also took to social media today to thank the supermarkets for their support. One user tweeted: ‘Nearly cried in the supermarket today… went to the early NHS shop time for @sainsburys and everyone was so kind and gave me a free bunch of flowers as I left and said “thank you” That’s the best end to a weekend on call’.
Another said: ‘Thank you #Morrisons store in Chapel-le-frith Derbyshire staff for early #NHS opening and to be given a lovely bunch of flowers as I left was a fab start to a very strange week xxx.’
NHS workers took to social media today to thank people working in supermarkets who gave them flowers today
It comes after an A&E doctor warned that even people in their 30s are fighting for their lives in intensive care because of the coronavirus crisis – making the work NHS workers are carrying out every day even more imperative.
Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, an emergency doctor and Labour MP for Tooting, south London, revealed doctors will soon have to start rationing life support machines.
After working at shift at St George’s Hospital in the capital at the weekend Dr Allin-Khan said the number of people being hospitalised is increasing ‘very, very quickly’.
So much for six feet! Commuters are STILL crammed onto Tubes ‘risking health of vital workers’ after Sadiq Khan cut services – despite him saying ‘people will die’ if they don’t practise social distancing (while he works from home)
Commuters were crammed onto Tubes in the morning dash to work today after Sadiq Khan cut services and told Londoners to enforce social distancing.
The London Mayor has said Britons in the capital need to stay indoors to ‘protect the ones they love’ amid the outbreak of deadly coronavirus – which has infected 5,683 and killed 281 in the UK so far.
London Underground staff were ‘furious’ after trains remained packed on Monday morning despite passengers being urged not to travel unless they have a critical job.
One commuter tweeted at London’s Northern Line asking where the southbound train at Colindale was, adding: ‘No sight of the train, platform is full of people, thanks for nothing!’
A special needs teacher told MailOnline he could not get to work safely this morning due to overcrowding – sharing images of a packed Central Line at 7.15am.
Finn Brennan, district organiser for train drivers’ union Aslef, expressed alarm at services which were extremely busy despite advice aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
He wrote on Twitter: ‘Still heavy loading on some Tube lines this morning making social distancing impossible.
‘This is endangering the health of the vital workers who have to use the system.
‘The Government must act now to ensure only ESSENTIAL journeys are made.
‘I’m being sent pictures of crush loaded platforms at some Jubilee line platforms this morning. Drivers and other frontline staff are furious.’
As 38 Underground stations remain closed this morning, one commuter tweeted at London’s Northern Line asking where the southbound train at Colindale was, adding: ‘No sight of the train, platform is full of people, thanks for nothing!’
She said patients with other health problems were having to be shipped out to children’s wards so there was enough room to treat the people with COVID-19.
Almost 5,700 people in the UK have been officially diagnosed with the disease but the true number is thought to be dozens of times higher. Almost 300 patients have died.
Dr Allin-Khan said the UK is ‘heading for disaster’ and pleaded with people to obey social distancing rules and stop going to busy areas after thousands of people were pictured defiantly visiting tourist destinations at the weekend.
The MP added that doctors will soon have to choose who does and doesn’t get ‘the last ventilator’ in intensive care.
Many key workers are still having to use the tube and many workers ‘do not feel protected’
Doctors’ Association chairman Dr Rinesh Parmar yesterday made an appeal to Boris Johnson, warning doctors and nurses feel like ‘cannon fodder’ because of a lack of protective equipment and kits.
It also follows a letter in the Sunday Times from almost 4,000 NHS workers who called on the Prime Minister to ‘protect the lives of the life-savers’ and resolve the ‘unacceptable’ shortage of protective equipment.
In their letter to The Sunday Times, the 4,000-strong group said medical workers were ‘putting their lives on the line every day’ by treating coronavirus patients without appropriate protection, and called on Mr Johnson to ensure an adequate supply of masks, safety glasses, gloves, aprons and protective suits.
NHS England said millions more items of PPE had been delivered over the last few days to hospitals, ambulance trusts and care homes among others.
It said the army would ‘play its part’ from this week, offering personnel to ‘help to manage and offload supplies in busy NHS settings’ and distributing PPE supplies to the front line.
The Health Secretary revealed he had signed new laws over the weekend, allowing police to enforce stringent bans on going to pubs, clubs and restaurants.
He told GMB: ‘As we’ve seen, the number of people not following the advice is incredibly damaging to the effort to stopping the spread of the virus.’
But Piers asked: ‘Given it is costing lives, why is the PM not mandating it? Why is he not locking down the country?
‘If that is the new strategy, having pursued a different strategy two weeks ago, lock the country down.
‘Your strategy has not been the same all along…it changed dramatically.
‘Herd immunity was the strategy then dramatically, it changed. So please don’t insult my intelligence by telling me we followed the same strategy – we haven’t.’
Mr Hancock insisted herd immunity, ‘has never been the strategy.’