AN A&E nurse at Southend Hospital has tested positive for coronavirus

It is understood they are being treated using a ventilator in an intensive care unit.

Southend Hospital has been contacted for official comment on the situation but staff have confirmed the diagnosis. 

The news comes days after concerns were raised at the lack of personal protective equipment for frontline NHS staff.

Last night, the Echo reported staff had given hospital bosses until the close of play last night to make sire PPE available to staff meets World Health Organisation guidelines or restricted services would be put in place

The Government has promised that it will 'ramp up' testing for NHS staff across the country, but figures show only 2,000 have been tested for the virus up till now.

In a Facebook post by pressure group Save Southend NHS, a spokesman states: "How many more staff will this happen to due to inadequate PPE?

"We are so gutted that CEO Panniker and this government are not issuing staff with the World Health Organisation specified protective kit.

"They instead give their staff cheapskate alternatives and now this. Truly awful.

"Thinking of this nurse and all staff placing their lives on the line to save ours."