WHO Chief Says There’s a Global Shortage in Masks for Healthcare Professionals Due to People Profiteering

It’s well known that during a crisis, the true colour of a person would be revealed.

Well, it seems like in this latest crisis, the true colour of mankind has been revealed, and it’s not one that we appreciate.

No wonder the Utopia we’ve been hoping to live in never exists.

WHO Chief Says There’s a Global Shortage in Masks Due to People Profiteering

Here in Singapore, this message has been repeated again and again: wear a surgical mask only when you’re sick. It’s not just a social responsibility, but it’ll benefit you as well as a surgical mask might give you a false sense of security if you don’t feel unwell.

Either most people on the streets are all sick or the advice has been fallen on deaf ears.

Now, hopefully, this latest news would knock some common sense to those fellows who are using two masks a day even when they don’t feel sick.

According to the World Health Organization’s director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, “The world is facing severe disruption in the market for personal protective equipment (PPE). Demand is up to 100 times higher than normal, and prices are up to 20 times higher. This situation has been exacerbated by widespread inappropriate use of PPE outside patient care.”

PPE refers to the suit that healthcare professionals wear, and that includes surgical masks.

And to simplify things, or to avoid hiding behind a euphemism, here’s the meaning of “widespread inappropriate use of PPE outside patient care”: it refers to that fellow who’s wearing a surgical mask even when he or she is not sick.

He added, “There is limited stock of PPE and we have to make sure we get it to the people who need it most, in the places that need it most… The first priority is health workers. The second priority is those who are sick or caring for someone who is sick.”

Need 7% to 10% More Surgical Masks

Based on an estimation, they believe that they need 7% to 10% of the world’s supply of surgical masks. In his words, “Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient to meet the needs of WHO and our partner.”

WHO’s executive director for emergencies has harsher words. He claimed that the entire supply was being disrupted not because more people are getting sick, but due to people going for “opportunities for hoarding” and  “opportunities for gazumping.”

He ended with this powerful statement: “If you see the normal civilian market flooded with N95 type masks and you see doctors and nurses who don’t have those, there is a problem.”

So, if you’ve been buying hundreds of masks every day, and worse still, sell them for a profit, I’ve a question for you:

Can you really sleep well at night?

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