The World Health Organisation has said that the safety of health caregivers is very essential in the battle against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
These remarks were said by WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus amid reports that panic buying has resulted in a huge shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) on the market. 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.
WHO reports that since the outbreak of the virus, prices have surged. For instance, surgical masks have seen a sixfold increase, N95 respirators have trebled and gowns have doubled.
The organisation also reports that there are delays (months) in the delivery of these health essential and market manipulation is widespread, with stocks frequently sold to the highest bidder.
WHO further reports that supplies are rapidly depleting when the virus is rapidly spreading across the world.