The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged manufacturers to urgently increase the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) worldwide as more countries are getting affected by Covid-19.
The scarcity of PPE such as gloves, medical masks, respirators, goggles, and face shields are leaving the frontline clinicians ill-equipped to treat Covid-19 coronavirus patients.
According to the current estimations by WHO, PPE supplies across the world need to be increased by 40%.
WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus 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.”
Since the Covid-19 outbreak began, prices have surged. Surgical masks have seen a sixfold increase, while that of N95 respirators have trebled and gowns doubled.
So far, WHO has shipped almost half a million sets of PPE to 47 countries, however, supplies are quickly depleting.
WHO is working with governments, industry and the Pandemic Supply Chain Network to boost production and to provide PPEs for critically affected and at-risk countries.
The international health agency has urged governments to develop incentives for industry to ramp up production, and this includes easing restrictions on the export and distribution of personal protective equipment and other medical supplies.