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Manufacturers Of Cleaning Products Should Get Priority COVID Testing, Says CHSA

Manufacturers Of Cleaning Products Should Get Priority COVID Testing, Says CHSA
26 May 2020
 

The CHSA is calling on the government to specify employees of manufacturers and distributors of cleaning & hygiene products as eligible for priority testing.

The Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) has written to the Health Secretary, The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, asking employees of manufacturers and distributors of cleaning and hygiene products be eligible for priority testing for coronavirus. 

 

“Without priority testing, manufacturers and distributors may be affected by employees unknowingly infecting colleagues. The consequence could be an impact on the ability of the companies to manufacture and distribute the essential products.”

–Lorcan Mekitarian

Chair, Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association

 

Letter to the Secretary of State for Health

 

Anyone over the age of five who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, a temperature, cough and the loss of the sense of taste and smell,  is now able to secure a test for coronavirus. Essential workers in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland can apply for priority testing through GOV.uk. These tests are prioritised over those made available to the wider public through the NHS. 

In his letter to the Secretary of State for Health, Lorcan Mekitarian, Chair of the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association, said: “These individuals produce, pack and distribute the products being used by cleaning operatives working in hospitals, care homes, schools and other essential locations, including offices being prepared to get the economy moving again. 

“The products include essential items such as clinical waste sacks, gowns, aprons, gloves, masks, hard surface sanitisers and hand sanitisers, non-woven wipes, tissue and other related products.  

“Without priority testing, manufacturers and distributors may be affected by employees unknowingly infecting colleagues. The consequence could be an impact on the ability of the companies to manufacture and distribute the essential products.”

He concluded: “We are delighted cleaning has been acknowledged as an essential service and those who work in the industry – cleaners, and the distributors and manufacturers of the products they use – are starting to get the recognition they deserve. We ask you to build on this recognition and specify employees of manufacturers and distributors of cleaning and hygiene products as eligible for priority testing for the coronavirus.”

 

Who is currently eligible for a priority test?

 

The government states that if you’re an essential worker in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland, you can apply for priority testing. The current list of essential workers who are eligible for this service is listed below:

 

  • All NHS and social care staff
  • Essential public services staff, including prisons, probation, courts and tribunals staff, judiciary, religious staff, charities and workers delivering critical frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, journalists and broadcasters covering coronavirus or providing public service broadcasting and public health and environmental staff, such as specialist community public health nursing
  • Public safety and national security staff, including police, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractors and armed forces personnel including defence medical staff,fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas, British Transport Police and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency
  • Transport workers, including those who keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the coronavirus response and those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass
  • Education and childcare workers, including support and teaching staff, social workers and specialist education professionals
  • Critical personnel in the production and distribution of food, drink and essential goods, including those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery, those critical to the provision of other essential goods, such as medical supply chain and distribution workers, including community pharmacy and testing (such as PHE labs), veterinary medicine and workers critical to the continuity of essential movement of goods
  • Local and national government staff critical to the effective delivery of the coronavirus response, or delivering essential public services, such as the payment of benefits
  • Public and environmental health staff, including in government agencies and arm’s length bodies
  • Funeral industry workers
  • Frontline local authority staff and volunteers
  • Utilities, communication and financial services staff, including staff needed for essential financial services provision, the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the coronavirus response
  • Essential staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications, postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors

 

Picture: A photograph of a person holding a test tube

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 26 May 2020

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