Due to the rapid spread of the deadly new coronavirus in China, there has been a severe disruption in the global supply of masks, gowns, gloves and other protective gear. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) chief, the prices of these items have risen 100 times their normal price.
According to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the situation is being made worse by people buying masks and medical equipment for personal use, this results in a shortage of supply for medical professionals that are fighting on the frontline of the battle against the virus.
"We call countries and companies to work with WHO to ensure fair and rational use of supplies, and the rebalancing of the market.— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) February 7, 2020
We all have a part to play in keeping each other safe"-@DrTedros #2019nCoV
"The first priority is #healthworkers.— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) February 7, 2020
The second priority is those who are sick or caring for someone who is sick.
WHO discourages stockpiling of PPE in countries and areas where transmission is low"-@DrTedros #2019nCoV
"We are appreciative of companies that have taken the decision to only supply masks to medical professionals.— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) February 7, 2020
There is limited stock of PPE, and we need to make sure we get it to the people who need it most, in the places that need it most"-@DrTedros #2019nCoV
"WHO is sending testing kits, masks, gloves, respirators & gowns to countries in every region. However, the 🌍 is facing severe disruption in the market for personal protective equipment. Demand is up to 100x higher than normal & prices are up to 20x higher"-@DrTedros #2019nCoV— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) February 7, 2020
While talking to media, Tedros reportedly said that the current crisis had a chance of promoting bad practices like hoarding of medical supplies in order to sell them later at a higher price. He added that the demand has risen tenfold and prices have gone up 20 times which has created a backlog of 4-6 months.