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UK to burn unusable COVID-19 protecting gear value billions

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The concept of burning faulty facemasks, robes and different gear to generate energy has not impressed the U. Ok.’s public spending watchdog committee

The concept of burning faulty facemasks, robes and different gear to generate energy has not impressed the U. Ok.’s public spending watchdog committee

The British authorities plans to burn billions of kilos in unusable private protecting gear bought in haste throughout the coronavirus pandemic, a public spending watchdog stated Friday.

The concept of burning the facemasks, robes and different gear to generate energy has not impressed the watchdog committee. The panel is investigating how the federal government got here to spend £4 billion ($5 billion) on protecting gear that must be dumped as a result of it’s faulty or doesn’t meet U. Ok. requirements.

Environmental influence unclear

Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee stated the federal government deliberate to eliminate 15,000 pallets a month of the gear “by way of a mixture of recycling and burning to generate energy”. “The prices and environmental influence of disposing of the surplus and unusable PPE is unclear,” the committee famous.

Pat Cullen, chief government of the Royal Faculty of Nursing, an expert physique, accused the federal government of “sending billions of kilos up in smoke”.

In a report, the accounts committee discovered that the Division of Well being misplaced 75% of the £12 billion it spent on PPE within the first yr of the pandemic to inflated costs and defective merchandise.

‘Shameful episode’

Opposition Labour Get together lawmaker Meg Hillier, who chairs the committee, stated the PPE saga was “maybe essentially the most shameful episode within the U. Ok. authorities response to the pandemic”. “The federal government splurged enormous quantities of cash, paying obscenely inflated costs and funds to middlemen in a chaotic rush, throughout which they chucked out even essentially the most cursory due diligence,” she stated.

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Authorities minister Robin Walker acknowledged Friday that “errors have been made” early within the pandemic. However he stated it was “a completely unprecedented scenario” during which international locations world wide have been scrambling to amass provides throughout a well being disaster.

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