Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the globe, the lives of people from around the world changed drastically. We had to adapt into a new kind of lifestyle where we have to practice social distancing, wear masks and to always sanitize our hands as well as the workplace and houses. This consequently increases the demands for protective equipment from face mask, face shields, to gloves, and head covers, even gowns for those who are the frontliners.
The continuous Covid-19 cases every day requires more protective equipment as it is much safer to practice single use, particularly for face masks and gloves. Other than using protective equipment on jobs that are considered as frontliners, these tools are needed for jobs around hazardous area. It is important to ensure that workers, either in the government or private sector, are protected by supplying them the necessary equipment to get the job done safely.
What is PPE?
Before we uncover why world leaders should invest in PPE or known as personal protective equipment, we should first know and understand what they are and their importance.
Protection clothes, helmets, goggles, and other apparel or gear are examples of personal protective equipment (PPE). They are meant to protect the user’s body from damage or illness. Physical, electrical, heat, chemicals, biohazards, and airborne particle matter are all dangers that can be covered by protective equipment. Protective equipment can be used for sports and other leisure activities, as well as for work safety and wellbeing.
When technical and administrative measures are not possible or effective in reducing risks to acceptable levels, personal protection equipment is used to minimize employee to hazardous situations. When there are risks present, personal protective equipment (PPE) is required. PPE has the significant drawback of not eliminating the hazard at the source, and it may expose personnel to the hazard if the equipment fails.
The global shortage of PPE.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has strongly advised both government and industry to enhance and increase the manufacturing by 40% of personal protection equipment (PPE) as the rising demands of them multiplies with time in relation to the Covid-19 Pandemic as well as other infectious diseases.
If the global shortage of PPE continues to increase, the risk of not being able to protect essential workers as well as the public from viruses will also continue to increase. This global shortage begins when there was a large demand of PPE even in domestic households because of shock and panicked purchasing for safety precautions.
The situation was exacerbated by the federal government’s failure to take meaningful measures to preserve and distribute domestic stocks, as well as major interruptions in the PPE worldwide supply chain. The United States is the world’s top importer of face masks, eye protection, and medical gloves, according to statistics, leaving it very sensitive to setbacks in medical supply exports.
What should be done.
Prices have risen dramatically since the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic. Face masks have increased sixfold, and gowns have risen in value. It might take several months for shipments to arrive, and price manipulation is common, with inventories being sold to the highest buyer.
The World Health Organization has distributed over half a million units of PPE to 47 nations so far, but resources are quickly running out. According to WHO calculations, the COVID-19 response will require 89 million face masks each month. The amount rises to 76 million for medical gloves, while the global market for goggles is at 1.6 million each month.
It can be deduced that market pricing are ineffective for allocating health-care resources, since wellness is a public benefit. Disabling the profit motive from hospital costing models for acquiring PPE, reinforcing government service to maintain and allocate stockpiles, establishing and implementing laws, and seeking strategic industrial policies to mitigate the government’s dependence on imported PPE will all enable us to better safeguard healthcare employees with sufficient resources of PPE.
World leaders should create incentives for companies to increase output. This comprises loosening trade and distribution regulations on personal protective equipment and other healthcare goods. Not only will this ensure the safety of the frontliners, but also the public on purchasing PPE for their own safety. It is important that governments spend more on preserving and enhance the healthcare workers as they are, in fact, endangering themselves to save others.
Besides having and obtaining PPE, there are also extra safety measures in investing in safety cabinets that can store all the personal protective equipment. In Malaysia, there are many manufacturers that provide the necessary product. MyLab, for example, is one of the many PPE cabinet suppliers in Malaysia that you can go to. Other than having the proper personal protective equipment, we should also be prepared with the right product to protect those equipment.