Deaths of more than 50 doctors from Covid-19 in Italy must serve as 'urgent warning' to British government on PPE supply.

The British Medical Association (BMA) has written to Italy's medical associations to extend its sincerest condolences to the country's medical profession.

The BMA says that the tragic deaths of these doctors must serve as an urgent warning to the British government over the supply of personal protective equipment.

Another 209 people were reported to have died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus, taking the total to 1,228 since the outbreak began.

The death toll dropped slightly from Saturday when 260 deaths were reported.

The Health Department said there were now 19,522 confirmed cases in the UK including 213 in Essex.

In the letter BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: "“It is with deep sadness and horror that we learn that the lives of more than 50 doctors have now been lost in Italy to Covid-19, and I would like to extend my sincerest condolences, on behalf of the British medical profession.

"Our thoughts are with the loved ones of these doctors and we send a message of solidarity to those brave and committed colleagues who continue to battle the pandemic that is gripping your country and continues to spread across the continent and the world."