WHO: DIY COVID-19 protective gear better than nothing

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WHO: DIY COVID-19 protective gear better than nothing
Left photo shows a do-it-yourself face shield for personal protective equipment of medical staff at Ma. Estrella General Hospital in Calapan. Right photo shows a frontliner at St. Jude Hospital in Los Baños, Laguna using garbage bags as an improvised protective suit.
Facebook / Clement Vanrich Monreal and Tes Depano

MANILA, Philippines — With personal protective equipment like face masks in short supply, the World Health Organization said using do-it-yourself protective gear is better than nothing.  

The dire shortage of face masks and other protective gear across the globe risks the health of millions—especially health workers—amid the new coronavirus pandemic.

“It is unfortunate but people have to adapt and use do-it-yourself kits. WHO does not encourage this but this is a stop gap measure as we address a global shortage,” physician Rabindra Abeyasinghe, WHO representative to the Philippines, said in a press briefing Tuesday.

While DIY masks do not offer 100% protection, they still “provide some degree of protection.”

“Any protection will be better than no protection,” Abeyasinghe said.

The WHO official also called on the private sector to help support the government’s effort in procuring PPEs for health care workers who are in the forefront of the fight against the new coronavirus.

“We need to protect our health workers because if health workers are falling sick, there will be no one to provide support and care for sick people,” he said.

There are now 501 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines after detecting 39 new infections. The death toll stood at 33, while 19 patients recovered. 


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