Over the last few weeks of lockdown in Dagenham and Rainham we have begun to see what commentators have called a ‘crisis within a crisis’ referring to the alarming lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) across the health sector and social care facilities.

Jon Cruddas MP has worked alongside neighbouring MPs and local businesses to coordinate what PPE is available to the places that need it, but this week it has emerged through anonymous tip-offs that care homes are suffering the brunt of the crisis.

 

On 26 March Jon Cruddas MP co-signed a letter to Dominic Raab MP urging immediate action to repatriate British nationals stranded abroad as a result of global lockdown measures. There was a particular focus on those trying to get home from Pakistan, where the only option has been to book an extortionately priced flight back with Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

During March, CEO of Stansted Airport contacted politicians for support that the airport believed was needed from the Government to protect jobs and enable the industry to help drive the economy forward in due course. Over the last two weeks the airport have been analysing a series of policy announcements and their impacts, as well as working hard to ensure London Stansted Airport is ready and able to weather these unprecedented circumstances.

 

Last week, Asda proudly launched a dedicated volunteer shopping card to help vulnerable customers and those who are self-isolating and unable to go into store. There are a number of Asda superstores located in and around Dagenham and Rainham that residents can access, and this new scheme seeks to support the most vulnerable along with our key workers.

 

The shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has been called a ‘crisis within a crisis’ by trade unions, yet the government have insisted that PPE is being delivered to frontline health workers. Over the last week the military have been assisting with the delivery of supplies but many staff across a range of care facilities have explained that it simply isn’t enough.

 

This week Jon Cruddas MP was contacted by The Environment Agency regarding the measures they have taken in the current crisis to continue operating in accordance with government guidelines.

Chief Executive, Sir James Bevan explained: “Our key priorities are to protect the health, safety and well-being of our own staff, the public and the businesses and partners we work with; to prevent loss of life and serious harm to the environment; and to keep our critical operations running.”

Jon Cruddas MP is supporting Macmillan Cancer Support’s coronavirus information hub, calling it a “great initiative”. This comprehensive information and advice was created by the Macmillan to provide clear information, advice and support about coronavirus for people living with cancer, their family and their carers.

 

Last week Jon Cruddas MP signed a cross party letter to the Foreign Secretary urging him to consider chartered flights to bring home British nationals stranded abroad during the Covid-19 crisis. 

On Monday 23 March British nationals were told to return to the UK immediately. However, following the announcement the cost of commercial flights skyrocketed and many could not afford to return. In some of the countries concerned, such as Pakistan and Bangladesh the British embassy and consulate have closed their doors leaving British nationals without support.

 

During this time of economic uncertainty yesterday the government recognised the need to suspend all eviction proceedings throughout the crisis. As of today, the court service will suspend all ongoing housing possession action – this means that neither cases currently in, or about to go into the system can progress to eviction. 

 

In light of the current global health crisis Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation Partnership have been working hard to respond and provide support to people with lung conditions – as this is a group vulnerable to Covid-19.

The partnership outlined that: “our current priority is to provide the most accurate and up to date advice and support for people with lung conditions across the UK. We are re-directing some of our resources to support this, and our team is working tirelessly with government and the NHS to understand and interpret new guidance.”

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