All parts of the country are now on an ’emergency footing’, the Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has said.
Speaking at the government’s daily press briefing he said: “This is an unprecedented step in peace time, we haven’t done anything like this since the Second World War.
“This means that we are establishing strategic coordination centres across the whole country.”
Mr Jenrick said each centre would be led by gold commanders.
The Government was bringing together senior members of the emergency services, with local authorities and the NHS to ‘lead communities through this challenging period, from Cornwall to Cumbria’, he added.
Members of the armed forces will be embedded in each of these groups, he added.
Mr Jenrick also told the Downing Street briefing millions of items of personal protective equipment (PPE) were being delivered to NHS staff.
“We simply cannot and should not ask people to be on the frontline without the right protective equipment,” he said.
He said the Government had established a “national supply distribution response team” to deliver PPE to those in need, supported by the Armed Forces and other emergency services.
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Some 170 million masks and almost 10 million items of cleaning equipment are among the items being delivered to NHS trusts and healthcare settings, he said.
“All delivered to 58,000 NHS trusts and healthcare settings, including GP surgeries, pharmacies and community providers,” he told the briefing.
“Every single GP practice, dental practice and community pharmacy has had a PPE delivery. All care homes, hospices, and home care providers have, or will shortly, receive a delivery.”
In a direct appeal to frontline workers, Mr Jenrick said the Government ‘will not stop’ until healthcare settings are provided with the equipment they need.
“To NHS and social care workers, all those who rely on this equipment, and to their families and loved ones watching this afternoon,” he told the briefing.
“We understand and we will not stop until we have got you the equipment you need.”