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A coach driver who ferried coronavirus evacuees to hospital last week was told not to wear a hazmat suit, he has said.
Peter Badger picked up a group of passengers at RAF Brize Norton after they had been evacuated from Wuhan, China, following the outbreak of the deadly illness.
The 54-year-old's bosses at Horseman Coaches had managed to get hold of a hazmat (hazardous materials) suit for him to wear but it's claimed that government officials ordered that it should not be used.
Photos of Mr Badger wearing his usual attire have caused a stir online, with people confused as to why he wasn't given a protective layer.
Speaking about the decision, James Horseman, a director of the Reading firm, said: "This was a risk assessment conducted by the Department of Health and Public Health England in advance.
"We were told if we sent the drivers suits, they would not be allowed to wear them."
He claimed the suits would 'pose a greater risk than the risk of contracting the virus itself'.
Mr Horseman said: "When we saw the images of the medical personnel wearing hazmat suits, it quite rightly sent alarm bells with the general public and our customers."
Mr Badger told The Sunday Times: "I've been told I won't get ill, and I believe that.
"To be honest, if I was wearing a hazmat suit I wouldn't be able to drive that sort of distance.
"All the drivers said 'yes' straight away, without hesitation. We had been asked by the British government to help out fellow Brits. Everybody wanted to do their duty."
A spokesman for the Department for Health declined to comment.
Meanwhile, a shop owner in Scotland has been selling 'coronavirus masks', warning customers 'Don't Die, Please Buy'.
The businessman, who wished not to be named, runs Partick Superstore in Glasgow, and has sold more than 2,000 masks since launching the campaign.
Despite experts claiming they will not do anything to protect against the spread of the deadly virus, the manager said business has been booming, with customers racing in to pick up the £1 protectors.
Speaking to The Daily Record, he said: "We put the posters up outside the shop on Thursday and it's been crazy ever since.
"I got 50 boxes of masks from a pharmacy distributor and the demand has been huge.
"So many pharmacies across the country have sold out so I thought I'd try and do my bit for the local community and offer what I could from here."
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