Medical Workers Tricked Into Washing Hands With Only Water After Hand Sanitiser Stolen
'Studio 10' health expert, Dr Andrew Rochford, has pleaded with the public to stop stealing protective supplies from hospitals as it risks the lives of medical workers and patients during the pandemic.
It comes after NSW Health reported thefts from hospitals which left staff without essential items like masks, hand sanitiser and gloves.
Rochford, an emergency doctor and television personality, took to Twitter to slam the vile and dangerous act.
"I understand everyone's scared, everyone's stressed but it'll be okay, just please leave the protective equipment in the hospitals. We need it," Rochford said.
At one hospital, in a single shift, 190 full hand sanitiser bottles were stolen.
"We actually found that somebody had emptied one of these bottles and filled it with water," he said.
"So, for an entire shift there were medical workers sanitising their hands between patients, using water.
You've got to understand how dangerous that is, not only for our patients but for us.
NSW health minister Brad Hazzard said he was "mortified" by reports of the thefts, including that sanitiser dispensers were being "ripped" from walls.
"I cannot think of anything more appalling. These are frontline staff who will keep you and your family alive," he said at a press conference in Sydney.
A sentiment the 'Pointless' host supported.
"We need to leave the masks, we need to leave the protective equipment in the hospitals," Rochford said.
"Because that's not only putting our lives at risk, it's putting everyone's lives at risk."
NSW Health advises the public to simply wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, emphasising that the soap does not need to be "expensive" or "anti-bacterial" -- a bar of soap, hand soap, shampoo or body wash will all work.