WHO calls on industry and governments to increase manufacturing by 40 percent to meet rising global demand

The World Health Organization has warned that severe and mounting disruption to the global supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) – caused by rising demand, panic buying, hoarding, and misuse – is putting lives at risk from the new coronavirus and other infectious diseases.

Healthcare workers rely on personal protective equipment to protect themselves and their patients from being infected and infecting others.

But shortages are leaving doctors, nurses and other frontline workers dangerously ill-equipped to care for COVID-19 patients, due to limited access to supplies such as gloves, medical masks, respirators, goggles, face shields, gowns, and aprons.

Coronavirus is spread by droplets that can spray into the air when those infected talk, cough, and sneeze. These can enter the body through the eyes, nose, and mouth, either directly or after touching a contaminated object.