In the rising panic of the COVID-19 outbreak, there is quite a disruption in the global supply of protective medical supplies. This disruption is caused by various factors, including
- the rising demand for masks
- panic buying,
- misuse, and
- hoarding of the masks and sanitizers.
The shortage and limited access to masks and other protective supplies are making doctors and other healthcare providers ill-equipped to treat COVID-19 patients. Further, they are prone to a high probability of risks from the new coronavirus.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus; the Director-General of WHO says, “Without secure supply chains, the risk to healthcare workers around the world is real. Industry and governments must act quickly to boost supply, ease export restrictions and put measures in place to stop speculation and hoarding. We can’t stop COVID-19 without protecting health workers first”.
Moreover, it has been surveyed that the prices of masks, especially three kinds, namely, N-95 Masks, 3 Ply Masks, and Surgical Masks have spiked unpredictably. This has resulted in market manipulations, and the stocks flowing into the homes of the highest bidders. Again, with the stocks getting over more frequently than expected, it is taking weeks to deliver and re-stock them.