Cost Of Disposable Surgical Mask Increases 6 Times, Price Of Disposable Protective Clothing Increases Doubles! The WHO Is Calling For Incremental Price Controls.

- Mar 04, 2020-

Price for disposable surgical mask and disposable protective clothings increase sharply and crazily.

The global supply of personal protective equipment is expected to increase by 40% due to the spread of the coronalvirus.

"We are concerned that the supply of personal protective equipment around the world will be increasingly disrupted by increased demand, hoarding or abuse, with consequent damage to countries' ability to respond," Mr. Tandsai said.

He called on manufacturers to urgently increase production of medical supplies to meet demand and ensure supply, and governments to create incentives for companies to increase production, such as easing export and distribution restrictions on personal protective equipment and other medical supplies.

Call on manufacturers to increase production of medical supplies

With limited access to medical supplies such as disposable gloves, disposable surgical masks, facial protection, disposable isolation suits and disposable aprons, the shortage will prevent doctors, nurses and other front-line health workers from being adequately equipped to care for patients with the disease, Dr. Tandesay said. And without protection for health care workers, the epidemic cannot stop.

"Supplies can take months to deliver, market manipulation is rife and stocks are often sold to the highest bidder," he said. Although the WHO has shipped nearly half a million units of personal protective equipment to 27 countries, supplies are rapidly running out.

To this end, WHO has issued guidance on the rational use of personal protective equipment and effective management of supply chains. It has also worked with governments, manufacturers and the global network of pandemic supply chains (PSCN) to promote production growth and secure supply in countries with severe or high risk of disaster.

The WHO called on manufacturers to urgently increase production to meet this demand and ensure supplies, and called for government incentives to encourage manufacturers to increase production, such as easing restrictions on the export and distribution of personal protective equipment and other medical supplies.

"This is about unity. The WHO or an industry alone cannot solve this problem. This requires all of us to work together to ensure that all countries protect our health workers, "said Mr.Tandsai.

Other countries could follow China's lead in reducing new cases

In the past 24 hours, China reported 129 new confirmed cases, a new low since Jan. 20, Dr. Tandsai reported. Outside China, 1,848 cases have been reported in 48 countries.

In response, Maria Van Kerkhove, technical director of the WHO's health emergencies program, said the number of cases in China had begun to decline since late January. The decline has not only occurred in the provinces outside Hubei,China, but also continued within Hubei,China, especially in Wuhan,China. 

As part of a team of WHO experts WHO visited China in February, he said: "during our stay in China, we went through the data very carefully. We believe this decline is real. The reason we think that is because we are seeing work in China on detecting cases, tracking contacts, testing ranges and other ongoing surveillance systems."

"We have seen the full range of measures that China has taken, and we have mentioned the basic public health measures that China has taken," he said. We believe this has had an impact on changing the natural trajectory of the outbreak in China."

That could happen in other countries as well, he says. The WHO believes other countries, including Italy, South Korea and Iran, can succeed in reducing new cases as long as other countries take aggressive measures to identify cases, contact contacts, social alienation, hand hygiene and response plans.

Each country should adopt restrictive protective measures according to its own situation. 

Michael Ryan, executive director of the W.H.O. 's emergency health program, said that while the W.H.O. can only recommend to countries, not force them to use a public health measure, it can challenge countries when they impose restrictions that exceed the W.H.O.' s recommendations, and has been doing so.

"We have noticed that countries that use travel restrictions as their only public health and intervention are not well prepared," Ryan said. Because when there are imported cases, they are caught off guard." 

Ryan argues that relying solely on travel restrictions and airport screening is a very weak public health preparedness tool. But it is understandable if countries implement travel restrictions or travel advice as part of a comprehensive public health strategy and implement time-bound, grounded and reasonable measures.

Mr Tandsai added: "the ultimate choice of what to do is up to the countries themselves. But our advice is to take measures that are proportional to public health risk in your own assessment."