Coroanvirus: Priti Patel 'sorry if people feel there have been failings' with PPE
11 April 2020, 17:28
The Home Secretary was asked if she would apologise for the lack of PPE available to frontline health workers on the day 19 NHS staff were confirmed to have died with coronavirus.
It comes on the same day Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the current NHS death toll from coronavirus stands at 19.
Ms Patel said she was "sorry" if people feel there has been a failing regarding the supply of PPE.
After being asked twice if she would apologise to NHS staff and their families, Ms Patel said: "I'm sorry if people feel that there have been failings. I will be very, very clear about that.
"But at the same time, we are in an unprecedented global health pandemic right now.
"It is inevitable that the demand and the pressures on PPE and demand for PPE are going to be exponential. They are going to be incredibly high.
"And of course we are trying to address that as a government."
Ms Patel was also asked where she had been for three weeks as this is her first appearance addressing the press conference.
She replied: "I'm delighted to be here... I've actually been in the Home Office working almost seven days a week... Ministers are working night and day to defeat this virus."
The home secretary also used the briefing to launch a public awareness campaign to help domestic abuse victims during the coronavirus lockdown.
The secretary of state said up to £2 million would be put towards online support services and helplines for domestic abuse victims during the pandemic.