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Covid-19: Shortage of PPE and disinfectants worldwide

Covid-19: Shortage of PPE and disinfectants worldwide

WHO has warned that disruption to the global supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) – caused by rising demand, panic buying, hoarding and misuse – is putting lives at risk. Since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak, prices have surged. Surgical masks have seen a sixfold increase, N95 respirators have trebled and gowns have doubled. Supplies can take months to deliver and market manipulation is widespread, with stocks frequently sold to the highest bidder. WHO therefore calls on industry and governments to increase manufacturing by 40 per cent.
 
WHO has so far shipped nearly half a million sets of personal protective equipment to 47 countries, but supplies are rapidly depleting. Based on WHO modelling, an estimated 89 million medical masks are required for the Covid-19 response each month. For examination gloves, that figure goes up to 76 million, while international demand for goggles stands at 1.6 million per month. See here.
 
There are also global shortages of disinfectants. The global chemical industry is stepping up with a massive pivot towards the production of key raw materials for hand sanitizers as well as the finished product itself. See here for an overview.

Covid-19: Situation in China & Hongkong

Covid-19: Situation in China & Hongkong

Since mid-February, China has been urging industries to resume operations. However, barriers remain. CPCIF notes that 86% of chemical plants have reopened, but many of them are not in full operation. The lack of orders is a key reason, although manufacturers also still face raw material and transportation obstacles in addition to difficulty with implementing environmental protection rules. See here and see for info on the Hunan (here), Zhejiang (here), Shanghai (here) and Hongkong (here).

Covid-19: Situation in India

Covid-19: Situation in India

On 20 April, the Indian government decided that until 3 May non-essential activities must remain shut down. Some additional activities, however, are allowed to open, including companies in rural areas and in Special Economic Zones and manufacturing facilities of essential goods, such as pharmaceuticals or food. Chemicals as such are not mentioned. If a facility is reopened it must undertake all health and safety measures listed in the guidelines, such as providing transportation for workers and mandatory thermal screening at the entry and exit points of the worksite. All goods traffic is allowed to run. See here and see here for additional info on Haryana and Himachal Pradesh