The World Health Organization has warned that severe shortages of global supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) – caused by rising demand of the risk from the COVID-19.
Medical staffs rely on personal protective equipment to protect themselves and their patients from being infected and infecting others.
But shortages are leaving doctors, nurses and other frontline workers dangerously ill-equipped to care for COVID-19 patients, due to limited access to supplies such as gloves, medical masks, respirators, goggles, face shields, gowns, and aprons.
The situation of shortage is more badly in underdeveloped countries. Even so, some governments are still carried out export restrictions for those much-need supplies.
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Without secure supply chains, the healthcare workers are exposed to the danger of infecting the virus. We can’t stop COVID-19 without protecting health workers first,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, prices have risen largely. Surgical masks have seen a six-old increase, N95 respirators have trebled and gowns have doubled, as WHO declared.
On the one hand, the stocks were sold to the buyer with highest prices; on the other hand, the production was decreased sharply for the quarantine of workers, especially in China.
That leads to a severe shortage of those materials.
Based on WHO modeling and estimating, 89 million medical masks are required for the COVID-19 response each month. For examination gloves, that figure goes up to 76 million, while international demand for goggles stands at 1.6 million per month.
The huge gap of personal protective equipment between demands and supplies may make the fight against the coronavirus harder worldwide. But it’s maybe a good opportunity for medical manufacture industry.