THE heartbroken family of a London bus driver who died from Covid-19 have blamed his death on a "lack of personal protective equipment".
Mervyn Kennedy is one of 29 transport staff in London – including 23 bus drivers and workers – to have died from coronavirus.
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The dad-of-three, who had no underlying health conditions, was rushed to hospital on April 6 when he developed breathing difficulties.
His three daughters, Penny, Ellen and Mel, took the devastating decision to turn off his ventilator the following day when doctors told them he would not survive.
Speaking after his death, Ellen wrote on Facebook: "No more families need to grieve the loss of a loved one due to the lack of PPE."
Penny Palmer, 33, a paediatric nurse at Lewisham hospital, said she believed her dad would still be alive if he had been provided with adequate PPE at work.
She told the Standard: "It is people like my dad who are driving the NHS staff and carers to work. The changes that have been brought in should have happened much quicker. The lack of equipment and delays has cost lives."
Paying tribute to her dad, she remembered him as "very family oriented".
She said: "My dad made it his mission to look after us when our mum died 16 years ago. He was a very loving, very family oriented man, always at work.
"His sickness record was pretty much amazing."
Mervyn was based at Thornton Heath bus depot, having moved to Croydon from Zimbabwe in 1999.
Penny added: "He never wanted people to worry about him. He always wanted to reassure people that he was OK. We did really lose a gem. It was so difficult not being able to see him in those final moments."
Claire Mann, Transport for London's director of bus operations, said she and colleagues were "utterly devastated" by Mervyn's death.
She said the "very latest scientific advice” was that PPE was "not required in non-care settings and could be counter-productive."
She added: "The safety of London’s bus drivers, who are all helping other critical workers tackle coronavirus, is our absolute priority.
"We have already delivered enhanced cleaning of all buses, improved social distancing for drivers and have made their cabs better protected."
A south London bus driver identified only as Lorraine, 62, said last week in an online video that she is "proud to do her job" but "frightened to die" as she begged the Government to do more to help protect transport staff.
And dad-of-three Abdul Gellaledin, 53, an ambulance care assistant, died after 11 days on a ventilator at Kingston Hospital.
He died on April 9 after contracting the deadly virus from one of the patients he ferried to and from hospital without personal protective equipment.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said authorities had this week introduced protective glass, middle-class boarding, anti-viral cleaning and told passengers to sit away from the driver to keep staff safe.
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