Former nurse and EMT: Supermarkets a threat to general public

Published by Leaders Council on March 23rd 2020, 2:02pm

A former nurse and emergency medical technician has contacted the Leaders Council with critical information surrounding coronavirus transmission in supermarkets.

At present, the government has asked hospitality and leisure businesses across the country to close their doors while the Covid-19 outbreak continues to affect UK citizens, but supermarkets and other essential businesses remain open. 

As restaurants have been affected by these widespread closures, supermarket demand -- already high as a result of food stockpiling -- is only set to increase.

Defra secretary George Eustice also asked the general public to consider others in a press conference on Saturday when shopping, urging people to only buy what they need.

In other countries across Europe that have been "locked down" by their governments, supermarkets also remain open for business.

However, former nurse and EMT Theresann Uphoff has contacted the Leaders Council explaining that the supermarkets and the way in which they continue to operate continues to be a threat for transmission of infection.

"The breach is the supermarkets and shops, and it must be addressed," Theresann told the Leaders Council. "I have contacted Edward Argar, the health minister, but have not had a reply.

"[The breach] must be addressed in order to get this virus under control... [if action is taken] it will not only cut transmission of infection but will dramatically ease the pressure on the NHS.

"We need to stop customers from self-serve shopping, as they are transmitting the virus by handling everything they touch.

"Those items are then handled by the checkout operators who are on the front line and have no protection at all, yet see more customers in a day than any NHS worker.

"The solution is moving to click and collect or serving the customer by collecting the goods and serving at the checkout with no other access to the store.

"This would also prevent the manic hoard buying that we are witnessing.

"The idea of isolating when everyone converges in the shops is unbelievably reckless -- it is the biggest breach. We need to deal with this issue urgently."

Theresann Uphoff has been a medical professional for more than 50 years, having trained in St Peters Hospital as a nurse, before working as an EMT from 1996 to 2001. Since 2007 , she has operated from her own clinic in Berkshire.

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Leaders Council
Of Great Britain & Northen Ireland
March 23rd 2020, 2:02pm

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