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Protective gear supply for health workers limited – DoH

FACE maskThe Department of Health has said that the availability of personal protective equipment for health workers is now limited amid the threat of the Covid-19.

Health Undersecretary Rolando Enrique Domingo said that supplies of PPEs are only enough for up to one or two months. PPEs include disposable face masks, gowns, and gloves.

“As of now, we still have enough supply of personal protective equipment for our health workers. It’s good for another one to two months,” said the Health official.

“We can still do with it but we really need to purchase more already,” he added.

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had earlier said that the demand and prices of PPEs globally have soared due to the Covid-19.

“The world is facing severe disruption in the market for personal protective equipment. The demand is 200 times than normal and prices are up to 20 times higher,” said Ghebreyesus.

“This situation has been exacerbated by widespread, inappropriate use of PPEs outside patient care. As a result, there are now depleted stockpiles and backlogs of four to six months. Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient to meet the needs of WHO and our partners,” he added.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in an advisory that people who are in good health condition do not need to use face masks.

Moreover, he said, the N95 mask must be reserved for healthcare and other frontline workers who are attending to patients with respiratory infections or Patients Under Investigation for Covid-19.

“The public is enjoined to judiciously use masks to prevent the shortage of surgical masks and N95 masks,” said Duque.

The DoH said that the number of PUIs for Covid-19 has increased to 441 since the start of their monitoring. The number of confirmed cases remains at three, including one mortality. It added that 230 PUIs are currently admitted in hospitals, while 208 have already been discharged. (Analou de Vera)