The deaths of workers at care homes in Dundee were not caused by a lack of PPE, two city politicians have said.
Council leader John Alexander and Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie both said there were adequate supplies of PPE – personal protective equipment – at homes in Tayside and nationally.
Karen Hutton, a “much-loved” care home nurse died from coronavirus just days after her granddaughter was born.
Ms Hutton, a staff nurse in the dementia unit at Lochleven Care Home in Broughty Ferry, died at home in Carnoustie on April 28 after testing positive for Covid-19.
Her death came just two weeks after Johanna Daniels, 67, who worked at Pitkerro Care Centre, also passed away from the virus, on April 13.
When asked if a lack of PPE for healthcare workers was to blame, Mr Hosie, who joined Mr Alexander for a video interview with the Tele, said: “No, I don’t think it is.
“Can I just say, first of all, in terms of some of the care home deaths, they are absolutely tragic.
“In terms of the staff who work there, contracting this disease, doing their work – that’s heart-breaking.
“But, in terms of PPE, I don’t think it’s a shortage, and I understand that care homes are able to access Scottish Government central PPE stocks.
“Now that’s not to say everything is run without any snag – that’s not true – but I don’t think it’s down to a shortage of PPE.”
Councillor Alexander said: “This is a subject we touched on just recently, and I described the situation as ‘devastating and horrendous’ and that’s very true – I think when particularly you consider the number of deaths.
“And we saw from, I suppose the first minister’s reaction (on May 6) during some questions, how emotional, how heartfelt the response has been across the board.
“Because, we’re all working flat out to make sure we support both care workers but also the people who are residents in those homes, and everybody will have a connection – either vicariously or directly – to somebody who is in a facility of that nature.
“We’re all trying to make sure that we’ve got everything in place.
“Right now I don’t think there are any issues with PPE, I’m not seeing anything coming into my inbox, but, as-and-when they are ever raised, then we will always react to that very quickly.
“At a local level, and I think we touched on this, there’s the national spearheading of efforts to collect and distribute PPE across the whole of Scotland.
“But even at a local level, we’re engaging with private companies and also larger organisations to procure PPE for wider compliments of staff.
“So, I think there is quite a dispersed but also coordinated body of work there, that is making sure we have adequate provision for anyone that requires it, and that should be in place for the foreseeable future.”