Coronavirus Update: Centre issues guidelines on rational use of personal protective equipment
Photo Credit: ANI

Mumbai: Amidst rising number of coronavirus positive cases and deaths in the country, the union ministry of health on Tuesday came out a comprehensive guidelines on the rational use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The guidelines are for health care workers and others working in points of entries (POEs), quarantine centers, hospital, laboratory and primary health care / community settings. This is also meant to guide on the type of personal protective equipment to be used in different settings.

PPEs are protective gears designed to safeguard the health of workers by minimizing the exposure to a biological agent. Components of PPE Components of PPE are goggles, face-shield, mask, gloves, coverall/gowns (with or without aprons), head cover and shoe cover.

According to the ministry, protection of the mucous membranes of the eyes/nose/mouth by using face shields/ goggles is an integral part of standard and contact precautions. The flexible frame of goggles should provide good seal with the skin of the face, covering the eyes and the surrounding areas and even accommodating for prescription glasses.

Hence the droplet precautions/airborne precautions using masks are crucial while dealing with a suspect or confirmed case of COVID-19/performing aerosol generating procedures.

By using appropriate protective clothing, it is possible to create a barrier to eliminate or reduce contact and droplet exposure, both known to transmit COVID-19, thus protecting healthcare workers working in close proximity (within 1 meter) of suspect/confirmed COVID-19 cases or their secretions.

Head covers usually cover the head. Those using gowns, should use a head cover that covers the head and neck while providing clinical care for patients. Hair and hair extensions should fit inside the head cover.

Meanwhile, the Centre has asked all the state governments to deploy fiscal resources for establishments of additional medical facilities such as hospitals, clinical labs, isolation wards, expansion and upgradation of existing facilities to combat the challenge posed by the COVID-19. These facilities need to be well equipped with ventilators, PPEs, masks and drugs to treat the patients.

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