Three nurses in the United Kingdom tested positive for coronavirus weeks after they were photographed wearing trash bags on their heads and feet due to the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE).

The nurses had shared a photo of themselves using clinical bin bags for protection as desperate measures due to a shortage of emergency gear at north London’s Northwick Park Hospital, in Harrow. All three of the nurses were front-line workers at the hospital.

The nurses mentioned that they used bin bags as they had "no other choice." One of them mentioned that they desperately needed protective gear as they had begun treating infected colleagues who got the virus from patients they were caring for. She also mentioned that many of them had refrained from meeting their families due to fear of spreading the virus to them.

“There are so many younger people here on ventilation – many with asthma, or diabetes. They can’t stop coughing, they just cough and cough and cough and they can’t help it – but there’s little we can do apart from try to help them breathe,” said the nurse.

“Sometimes the body just gives up, and they die. We can’t save them. The worst part is that we can’t allow their relatives in to say goodbye,” she added.

According to The Telegraph, more than 50% of the staff members working in one of the wards with COVID-19 patients have now tested positive for the deadly virus. The hospital had previously declared that they were in an emergency situation due to lack of critical care beds and had also issued a plea for proper masks, gowns, and gloves.

“We can confirm that a number of staff members working in our COVID-19 positive areas have tested positive for the coronavirus,” mentioned a spokesman for the London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust.

“This is unfortunate but not unexpected, as it corresponds with the experience of healthcare workers across the world. We are providing full support to those of our staff members who become unwell, and wish them a swift recovery,” the spokesman added.

As of Monday, the United Kingdom had reported 85,208 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the death toll reached 10,629. Meanwhile, the number of confirmed cases worldwide has reached 1,854,464.

"Nurses are the backbone of any health system," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement
"Nurses are the backbone of any health system," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement AFP / FETHI BELAID