NHS Nurse : ‘We should all be ashamed’: NHS boss slams selfish panic-buyers and demands they STOP clearing Britain’s shelves and think of NHS workers – including one who was reduced to tears when there was nothing to buy
- Coronavirus death toll in UK has hit 233 as a further 53 people died in England alone in the worst 24 hours yet
- Environment Secretary George Eustice said there is ‘more than enough food to go around’
- Shocking drone footage revealed the true extent of panic buying outside a Tesco in New Malden at 6am
- Gigantic queue was spotted at 6am while selfish panic-buying shoppers waited for morning delivery
- Police were forced to step in to protect vulnerable customers at some shops yesterday shops hired security
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
NHS Nurse : The government today scolded ‘shameful’ panic-buyers and pleaded with the frenzied shoppers to consider more vulnerable people before emptying the nation’s supermarkets.
The coronavirus death toll in the UK has hit 233 as a further 53 people died in England alone in the worst 24 hours yet.
Environment Secretary George Eustice told people to ‘calm down’ and claimed there is ‘more than enough food to go around’.
But he said that many Britons, including frontline NHS staff, were being deprived because of a sharp upswing in stockpiling.
Speaking at the latest daily press briefing from Downing Street this afternoon, he said: ‘We recognise that this is a challenging time and there are many things the government is asking the nation to do differently as we work together to fight this pandemic.
‘Be responsible when you shop and think of others. Buying more than you need means others may be left without.’
Mr Eustice was flanked by British Retail Consortium chief executive Helen Dickinson and NHS England national medical director Stephen Powis, who condemned the selfishness and said: ‘Frankly we should all be ashamed.’
The health chief made his admonishment as he pointed to a viral video of female health worker Dawn Bilbrough, 51, who broke down in tears after faced with rows of bare shelves following an exhausting shift.
Ms Dickinson laid bare the sheer tonnage of food which has flown off the shelves in recent weeks when she revealed: ‘There is a billion pounds more food in people’s houses than there was three weeks ago, so we should make sure we eat some of it.’
The government’s call to exercise restraint came as hordes of shoppers descended on supermarkets at the crack of dawn this morning in a desperate bid to stock up after weeks of coronavirus panic-buying cleared food aisles across the country.
Staggering scenes saw a queue of hundreds of people snake round a Tesco car park at 6am, and even spill out on to the streets of New Malden, London.
Since the pandemic tightened its choke-hold on the UK, fears of an imminent lockdown have fanned mass stockpiling as people brace to hunker down at home.
Many with COVID-19 symptoms are already self-isolating and, asked about possible military involvement in the supply chain to safeguard food for these people, Mr Eustice said: ‘We are obviously giving increasing thought within government over how we will protect those who may be self-isolating because they are vulnerable and I know more will be said about this in due course.’
He also revealed manufacturers were producing 50 per cent more stock to match demand, and revealed that said that talks were ongoing with supermarkets to ensure that food banks were able to retain stock in order to help vulnerable people.