- WHO issues warning citing shortage of PPE for healthcare workers
- 40% manufacturing increase of PPE recommended by WHO
Acute shortage of PPE supplies like medical masks, face shields, goggles, aprons etc. is gravely endangering the lives of public healthcare works. As pointed out in the latest WHO report global supply chains have seen widespread disruption as several travel and logistics bans have been enforced by multiple countries in the supply chain.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 prices for medical masks similar to N95 have been trebled. WHO has shipped more than half a million masks to over 47 various countries, but says its supplies are running out. To meet the rising demand, WHO estimates that the production of PPE be increased by 40%.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General in a statement said, “Without secure supply chains, the risk to healthcare workers around the world is real. Industry and governments must act quickly to boost supply, ease export restrictions and put measures in place to stop speculation and hoarding. We can’t stop COVID-19 without protecting health workers first.”
WHO is also concerned about market manipulation as often the PPE stocks are sold to the highest bidder without considering the actual requirement on ground. Moreover, factors such as rising demand, panic buying, hoarding and misuse of PPE are acutely affecting its supply, which might take months to replenish.
As per the recent estimates by WHO, 89 million masks are required every month to contain the outbreak of COVID-19. Monthly estimates for medical gloves and goggles stand at 76 million and 1.6 million respectively.