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Coronavirus: Demand For Masks, Respirators Now 100 Times Higher – WHO

In this picture taken on February 6, 2020, employees of Songyo Knitwear Factory in Pyongyang produce masks for defense towards the brand new coronavirus. Kim Won-Jin / AFP



The demand for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) resembling masks and respirators following the outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has elevated astronomically.

The Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, disclosed this on Friday whereas giving an replace on measures being put in place to curb the unfold of the virus.

He decried that some stakeholders within the manufacturing chain have additionally taken benefit of the scenario to inflate the costs of equipment utilized by individuals to keep away from being contaminated.

Ghebreyesus mentioned, “As I mentioned on Wednesday, WHO is sending testing kits, masks, gloves, respirators and gowns to countries in every region. However, the world is facing severe disruption in the market for personal protective equipment.”

“Demand is up to 100 times higher than normal and prices are up to 20 times higher. This situation has been exacerbated by widespread, inappropriate use of PPE outside patient care.

“As a result, there are now depleted stockpiles and backlogs of four to six months,” he added.


The United Nations well being company chief additionally give an replace on the variety of lives misplaced for the reason that outbreak of coronavirus since December 2019.

He disclosed that extra circumstances of an infection have been confirmed in China the place the virus first broke out however fewer incidences have been reported.

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks throughout a press convention on January 30, 2020 in Geneva. FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP



“As of 6am Geneva time today, there were 31,211 confirmed cases in China, and 637 deaths,” Ghebreyesus informed the press convention.

He said, “For the last two days there have been fewer reported new infections in China, which is good news, but at the same time, we caution against reading too much into that.

“The numbers could go up again. As you know, epi curves can zig-zag. Outside China, there are 270 cases in 24 countries, with one death.”

The WHO chief additional decried the scenario the place world shares of masks and respirators have been inadequate to satisfy the wants of the company and its companions.

According to him, the UN physique estimates that world frontline well being emergency responders would require roughly seven per cent to 10 per cent of market capability.


Ghebreyesus mentioned the proportion could also be increased for different important provides because the frontline well being employees in China require the majority of PPE provides.

He recalled his dialogue with the Pandemic Supply Chain Network – which included producers, distributors and logistics suppliers – to make sure that PPE provides get to those that wanted them.

This picture taken on January 22, 2020, exhibits employees producing facemasks at a manufacturing unit in Handan in China’s northern Hebei province. STR / AFP



The well being company chief gave an assurance that the community would focus initially on surgical masks due to the acute demand and market pressures.

He thanked the businesses which have taken the choice to solely provide masks to medical professionals.

Ghebreyesus warned, “There is limited stock of PPE, and we need to make sure we get it to the people who need it most, in the places that need it most.

“The first priority is health workers. The second priority is those who are sick or caring for someone who is sick. WHO discourages stockpiling of PPE in countries and areas where transmission is low.”

“We call on countries and companies to work with WHO to ensure fair and rational use of supplies, and the rebalancing of the market.

“We all have a part to play in keeping each other safe,” he mentioned.

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