Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso has received a donation of 200 sets of personal protective equipment to the Manila Health Department from the International Medical Corps, as protection against the deadly coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The turnover ceremony was done together with MHD Acting City Health Officer Dr. Arnold Pangan, IMC representatives and MHD representatives at the Mayor’s Office, Manila City Hall on Thursday afternoon.
The Department of Health said the availability of personal protective equipment for health workers was now limited amid the threat of COVID-19.
Health Undersecretary Rolando Enrique Domingo said the supply of PPEs would only last up to one or two months. PPEs include disposable face masks, gowns, and gloves, among other items.
“As of now, we still have enough supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for our health workers. It’s good for another one to two months,” the health official said.
“We can still do with it, but we really need to purchase more already.”
Recently, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the demand and prices of PPEs globally have already soared due to COVID-19.
“The world is facing severe disruption in the market for personal protective equipment. The demand is 200 times [more] than normal and prices are up to 20 times higher,” Ghebreyesus said.
“This situation has been exacerbated by widespread, inappropriate use of PPEs outside patient care. As a result, there are now depleted stockpiles and backlogs of four to six months. Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient to meet the needs of WHO and our partners,” he added.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier released an advisory stating that people who are in good health condition do not need to use face masks.
Moreover, the N95 mask must be reserved for healthcare and other frontline workers who are attending to patients with respiratory infections or patients under investigation for COVID-19.
“The public is enjoined to judiciously use masks to prevent the shortage of surgical masks and N95 masks,” Duque said.