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SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 146-147

Responding to the challenge of shortage of personal protective equipment in the corona virus disease 2019 outbreak


1 Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) - Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) - Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission02-Mar-2020
Date of Decision15-Mar-2020
Date of Acceptance21-Mar-2020
Date of Web Publication18-Jul-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh R Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet, Kancheepuram - 603108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JDRNTRUHS.JDRNTRUHS_32_20

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  Abstract 


The Corona Virus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, which started from a single city in China in December 2019 has been detected in 53 more nations till 29 February 2020 and this is a significant cause of public health concern worldwide. The available estimates suggest that the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) in a rational basis is a key component in the prevention and mitigation of the disease. However, amidst loads of uncertainty about various aspects of the disease and the resulting fear and anxiety, the use of PPE has been irrational and thus the public health authorities have faced their shortage and are finding it difficult to ensure optimal availability. In order to deal with the global shortage of PPE, a three-pronged strategy has been proposed focusing on minimizing the need, promoting the rational and appropriate use, and coordinating the supply chain network across the world. In conclusion, the personal protective equipment has an important role in the infection prevention and control of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. It is the responsibility of the public health authorities to rationalize the use of PPE to ensure their optimal availability across the world.

Keywords: COVID-19 outbreak, Infection prevention, Personal protective equipment, World Health Organization


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Responding to the challenge of shortage of personal protective equipment in the corona virus disease 2019 outbreak. J NTR Univ Health Sci 2020;9:146-7

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Responding to the challenge of shortage of personal protective equipment in the corona virus disease 2019 outbreak. J NTR Univ Health Sci [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Aug 11];9:146-7. Available from: http://www.jdrntruhs.org/text.asp?2020/9/2/146/289888




  Introduction Top


The Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID 19) outbreak, which started from a single city in China in December 2019, has been detected in 212 more nations and territories till date.[1] The cumulative total has increased to 2314621 cases and is a significant cause of public health concern worldwide.[1] Even from a mortality perspective, the disease attributed deaths has increased to 157847, with the leading contributor being the European region, accounting for more than 60% of the globally reported deaths.[1] All these facts are a clear marker that we have fallen short in our preparedness activities and have not been able to mount a strong response against this novel disease.[2],[3]

COVID-19: Prevention and control

Even though, the containment of the infection requires a multi sectoral response and capacity building in the field of laboratory facilities, treatment, contact tracing, risk communication, etc., maximum emphasis should be given towards the infection prevention and control.[2],[3] The available estimates suggest that the infection is being transmitted between humans through close contacts and droplets, and not via an airborne route. Therefore, the use of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in a rational basis is a key component in the prevention and mitigation of the disease.[4],[5]

Role of Personal Protective Equipment

Amidst loads of uncertainty about various aspects of the disease (viz. epidemiological and clinical spectrum) and the resulting fear and anxiety, both among the health professionals and the community, the use of PPE has been irrational and thus the public health authorities have faced its shortage and are finding it difficult to ensure optimal availability.[4],[5]

Responding to the shortage of PPE

In order to deal with the global shortage of PPE, a three pronged strategy has been proposed focusing on minimizing the need, promoting the rational and appropriate use, and coordinating the supply chain network across the world.[4] The need for PPE can be minimized by adopting either telemedicine or physical barriers (like glass windows in triage or registration areas) while evaluating a suspect patient or at the time of first presentation of the patient in hospital.[1],[5] In addition, the movement of all health workers should be restricted as far as possible, unless they are involved in direct patient care and visitors' access to patients.[4] Further, all users should be sensitized on their way to use, remove and perform hand hygiene, and thereby neutralizing the risk of self contamination.[3]

For ensuring the rational usage of PPE, based on the type of work in which a health professional is involved, specific PPE should be utilized. Respirators like N95 are recommended for health professional caring for multiple patients for prolonged periods of time, while medical masks have been advocated for the general public (viz. people with respiratory symptoms or caregivers).[5] At the same time, no type of mask should be used by asymptomatic individuals, as apart from challenging the stock of the PPE, it can even give a false sense of safety or might even aggravate the chances of stigmatizing.[3] In addition, the supply chain management system needs to be strengthened by instructing nations to make a rational forecast for the required supplies and monitoring (including the request from all the nations, distribution in nations, selling from pharmacy stores) activities in a coordinated fashion.[4],[5]

Conclusion

In conclusion, Personal Protective Equipment has an important role in the infection prevention and control of the ongoing COVID 19 outbreak. It is the responsibility of the public health authorities to rationalize the use of PPE in order to ensure its optimal availability across the world.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 40; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200229-sitrep-40-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=7203e653_2. [Last accessed on 2020 Mar 2].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Jernigan DB. CDC COVID-19 Response Team. Update: Public health response to the Coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak-United States, February 24, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:216-9.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
World Health Organization. 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV): Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. Geneva: WHO press; 2020. p. 1-3.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Lee A. Wuhan novel coronavirus (COVID-19): Why global control is challenging? Public Health 2020;179:A1-2.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
World Health Organization. Rational Use of Personal Protective Equipment for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Interim Guidance. Geneva: WHO press; 2020. p. 1-6.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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