Catholic hospitals are calling on retailers and wholesalers to stop selling hospital-grade masks to the public as fears mount of a shortage of N95 masks. Source: Catholic Health Australia.
CHA said that while it supports the public wearing masks, national stocks of N95 masks need to be preserved.
"There is real pressure on the supply of these masks. Some hospitals in Victoria are reaching out to health providers in less affected states to ask if they can access their stocks of N95 masks. We are calling on retailers and wholesalers to think twice about sourcing these masks to sell to the public," James Kemp, CHA's director of health policy, said.
“As we have seen, this pandemic can surge very quickly - we need to make every mask count,” he said.
A P2/N95 mask removes around 95 per cent of all particles that are at least 0.3 microns in diameter – and are essential in the fight against COVID which has claimed the lives of thousands of hospital staff around the world.
Almost one in eight hospital beds are located in Catholic hospitals but they are being denied access to the national stockpiles of N95 hospital-grade masks.
Mr Kemp said there are many other masks that can protect the public.
“COVID-19 cases are rising all over the country and we have to make sure our frontline staff are protected. We warned that stocks of PPE equipment were critically low at the start of the pandemic and that we needed to be able to access the nation’s stockpile.
“Now, when our hospital staff need it the most – when they are dealing with a surge of COVID-19 infected patients - they are worried how they will get through the next couple of months, let alone the next year.”
Hospital chiefs plead with retailers to stop selling hospital-grade face masks as stocks reach crisis point (Catholic Health Australia)
Hospitals urge retailers to stop selling high grade masks to public (Sydney Morning Herald)