THE UK Government today announced it had signed deals to procure 'billions' more items of personal protective equipment (PPE) to help with tackling the coronavirus crisis.

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said deals signed with more than 100 suppliers globally would include a further 3.7 billion gloves being produced 'to help meet the expected demand'.

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said: “Last month, I set a national challenge to ensure we continue to supply enough PPE to those on the frontline of this battle.

“We have now signed deals with over 100 suppliers across the world to secure more PPE, and at the same time we have ramped up domestic production"

He said two billion pieces of PPE had been ordered from 'hometown firms' and described this as 'great news for jobs and the economy'.

Included in the order of two million items is said to be a deal for 70 million face masks agreed with the company Honeywell.