Review of the year: April

NHS workers across the country were facing extreme pressures in April as the pandemic continued, and there concerns for safety.

In our look-back to 2020, April was among the more miserable months of the year.

At the time, shortages in personal protective equipment (PPE) and coronavirus swab tests were a common thing as the UK had to quickly adapt to the pandemic.

A nurse at Northwick Park Hospital opened up to the Harrow Times about having to wear a plastic bag for protection and having a mask confiscated from her due to shortages.

At the time the nurse, who wishes to be anonymous, said: “We get the feeling – if you die, you die. And if you catch it, that’s it.

“We don’t have a voice. I know it’s unprecedented times, but I don’t feel safe working.”

While management then quickly adapted at all NHS hospitals, it is important to not overlook the initial struggles the country faced.

A daughter paid tribute to nurse Alice Kit Tak Ong, who died in April after testing positive for coronavirus.

Alice was working as a practice nurse at Colindale Medical Centre as well as at Greenfield Medical Centre in Cricklewood. She was moved into intensive care at the Royal Free Hospital before her death.

Melissa, 36, described her mother as a “wonderful woman” who was “generous to everyone else before herself”.

But in a more optimistic recollection of events, a centre providing coronavirus tests for frontline health and care workers opened in April at the Lee Valley Athletics Centre in Edmonton.

The centre was among many that began to open at this time, kickstarting the rigid coronavirus testing centre currently in place.

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