There could be a shortage of personal protective equipment, such as masks, in health care settings due to the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Department of Health and Human Services reiterated today.
“Demand is up to 100 times higher than normal, and prices are up to 20 times higher,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “This situation has been exacerbated by widespread, inappropriate use of PPE outside patient care.”
WHO said the Pandemic Supply Chain Network will encourage manufacturers to increase production, commit supplies to frontline health emergency responders, and expand the number of stakeholders who are involved in the PSCN to gain a critical mass of suppliers to mitigate the operational risks within the market.
In a briefing today, members of President Trump’s Novel Coronavirus Task Force said more than 17,000 passengers returning from China have been screened at U.S. airports.
HHS and CDC today issued an interim final rule requiring airlines to collect and provide to CDC certain data regarding passengers and crew arriving from foreign countries “for the purposes of health education, treatment, prophylaxis, or other appropriate public health interventions, including travel restrictions.”
Nancy Messonnier, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said the nation’s “strong public health system” will be able to detect and respond to new U.S. cases, and that all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., and Guam should receive 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel test kits today or tomorrow.
CDC will host a series of calls with state and local partners starting Monday, Feb. 10, at 2 p.m. ET. To participate, call 1-800-857-6697, passcode 1324420. For the latest information and resources, visit AHA's coronavirus webpage.