Personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves are playing a vital role in reducing the transmission of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and protecting frontline staff, especially those in healthcare. The surge in COVID-19 cases has strained the global supply of PPE.

Verdict has conducted a poll to assess the adequacy and reach of personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Analysis of the poll results shows that the supplies are insufficient, as opined by a majority 59% of the respondents, while 21% of the respondents opined that PPE are not reaching everyone in need despite sufficient supplies.

On the other hand, 14% of the respondents felt that the supplies were sufficient and reaching everyone in need. The remaining 6% responded that they did not know about the PPE supply situation.

Poll: PPE provisions to hospitals during COVID

The analysis is based on 370 responses received from the readers of Medical Device Network, a Verdict community site. The poll was launched on 24 June and ended on 20 August.

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Personal protective equipment shortage amid the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a rise in demand and panic buying of PPE including gowns, masks, gloves, goggles, N95 respirators, and face shields. As a result, PPE supplies have been impacted severely putting the lives of healthcare workers and doctors at risk.

An estimated 89 million medical masks, 76 million examination gloves, and 1.6 million goggles are required a month to deal with the pandemic, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO urged governments and industries during the initial stages of the pandemic to address the shortage of PPE by increasing manufacturing by 40%.

Several countries are still facing a shortage of personal protective equipment required amid COVID-19. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has noted that the shortage could last for the entire duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.