A need for ‘right equipment at the right time’ 

gnlm opinion

With the ongoing surge in coronavirus cases during the second wave of the fast-spreading virus, reaching 6743 cases yesterday, the demand for personal protective equipment is becoming greater day by day. Arrangements have been made to purchase 30,000 sets of PPE items for the Yangon Region. In the second wave, shortages are expected to extend beyond PPEs, and include disinfectant wipes, hand hygiene products, gowns, masks, sanitizers, gloves and much more. COVID-19 is a marathon, not a sprint, and ultimately represents the larger issue of hospital preparedness and how we integrate critical aspects, such as supply chains and monitoring those who are infected.
Now is the time to motivate health workers and volunteers, who have become fatigued while fighting the pandemic on the frontlines. It is important to note that the battle to contain and even prevent the second wave must continue by acknowledging the work performed by frontline volunteers and health workers, and cooperation between regional governments and health authorities in a timely manner to fulfill their needs, as they carry out the current strategy to combat the disease.
One of the first ways we can work towards more sustainable efforts is to first focus on daily PPEs counts. This is a good measure to establish as a standard infection prevention and control (IPC) practice. This virus in second wave is spreading faster than the previous one, and the Yangon Region and Rakhine State are seeing high number of cases.
To fight against the disease, the effective cooperation between the National Volunteer Corps, governments and regional governments should be scaled up and need the assurance that they can guarantee that every frontline healthcare worker will receive the PPE they need, when they need it. The novel coronavirus pandemic has revealed that supply chains of personal protective equipment are vulnerable to disruptions. We must ensure that the right equipment reaches the areas of most need at the right time. In our uphill battle to fight the pandemic, our approach must be from the perspective of perseverance and resolve.

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