“At the same time that ministers are refusing even to discuss the subject of pay with our nation’s nurses," Florence Eshalomi said.
Top civil servant who "runs Britain" was once a pub landlady in Northern Ireland.
“All departments have been asked to look at how they would mitigate against large-scale absences across their relevant workforces."
Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak, Michael Gove and Matt Hancock reportedly met on Friday to discuss "alarming" new pandemic data.
"People who know their own community are bound to be better than Whitehall or national contact tracers", communities secretary Robert Jenrick admits.
Whitehall has been urged to take stronger action as infections increase dramatically, with 17,540 lab-confirmed cases reported on Thursday.
Letter from Dominic Raab reveals outgoing civil servant Mark Sedwill will oversee merger of Foreign Office and DfID, despite leaving Whitehall in September.
Sedwill is quitting his roles as cabinet secretary and national security adviser as part of Boris Johnson's overhaul of Whitehall.
PM's Brexit negotiator David Frost to become national security adviser, with a competition launched to fill Sedwill's cabinet secretary post.
Government sources tell HuffPost UK some of the £4bn-worth of crisis planning means the UK is accidentally better prepared for Covid-19.