Before the government confirmed the delay, Dr. Helena McKeown, chairwoman of the British Medical Association, told Sky News that the reported delay was “disastrous” and “devastating.” Asked if she would advise medical workers to refuse to work without protective equipment, she replied, “I would simply ask the government: What should my colleagues do?”
On Saturday, Robert Jenrick, the British housing minister, acknowledged the shortages during the daily government briefing, saying he recognized that it “must be an extremely anxious time for people working on the front line.”
Health care workers were advised to wear plastic aprons on top of their coveralls.
At least 15,464 people have died of the coronavirus in Britain, according to government figures published on Saturday.
In a Sunday Times of London report, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was said to have “sleepwalked” into a disastrous initial response to the coronavirus outbreak by missing five meetings of a government crisis committee. But Michael Gove, a member of Mr. Johnson’s leadership team, rejected the idea as “grotesque.”
The prime minister made all the major decisions, Mr. Gove told Sophy Ridge of Sky News on Sunday. “Nobody can say that the prime minister wasn’t throwing heart and soul into fighting this virus,” he said, adding that Mr. Johnson had been nothing other than “energetic, determined, focused and strong in his leadership.”
Mr. Johnson, who was hospitalized this month after contracting the virus, is still recuperating, but has had some contacts with officials, Mr. Jenrick said. “He’s resting and recuperating at Chequers,” Mr. Jenrick said, referring to the prime minister’s official country residence. “He’s taking his doctor’s advice.”
Here’s what else is happening around the world:
Norway is preparing for what officials call a “controlled” reopening, with many restrictions set to be lifted from Monday. The country was one of the first in Europe to roll out a government app to track infections, but it needs 50 percent of the population to use it to be effective. As of Saturday, 1.2 million people, over 25 percent of adults, had done so.
Denmark, which has seen a continuous decline in hospital admissions, will allow hair dressers, tattooists, massage therapists and other small businesses with relatively few costumers to reopen Monday.
Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body, the Council of Senior Scholars, urged Muslims worldwide to pray at home during the holy month of Ramadan if their countries have imposed distancing measures, the state news agency SPA reported on Sunday. “Remember that preserving the lives of people is a great act that brings them closer to God,” the council said. Ramadan is expected to begin in many places on Thursday.
Spain reported its lowest daily death toll in four weeks: 410 deaths overnight, a fall of 155 from the previous day. The Spanish government said on Saturday that it would extend the nationwide lockdown until at least May 9, but ease some restrictions for children starting April 27.
The biggest and busiest shopping district in Nairobi, Kenya, has been shut down for up to a week to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. The district, Eastleigh, a regional trading hub that draws thousands of people each day, was quickly closed after two deaths and a rise in infections, said the area’s lawmaker, Yusuf Hassan, said. He said the government would use the temporary closure to increase testing and fumigate stalls and shops.
Russia’s coronavirus crisis response center reported a record rise of 6,060 new coronavirus cases over 24 hours, bringing its nationwide total to 42,853.