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WHO cites correct use of virus protective gear

By Chito Chavez

To combat the dreaded COVID-19 scare, the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday has strongly pushed for the appropriate use of personal protection equipment (PPE).

Dr. Sylvie Briand (Reuters

Dr. Sylvie Briand (Reuters/MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

In a report of Xinhua Network, WHO stressed that appropriate training and behavior in how to use PPE may also play a vital role to prevent being afflicted by nCoV.

“The PPE is just one element of protection; more importantly is how to use the PPE,” said Sylvie Briand, director of the Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness at WHO at a daily briefing on the disease.

She noted that there had been many occasions that for very dangerous “pathogen’’ even with the highest level of PPE one can still get infected because of inattention and mistakes made when one is tired.

Also such cases have been observed in the Ebola outbreak.

“The discussion is more of how to make sure that health workers feel safe, and how to ensure that they properly use the PPE,” she said. “There are times when some very sophisticated PPE can give a full sense of security, then one forgets some of the basics such as washing the hands when finished using the PPE.”

“Equipment should be used to its best and one should not rely only on the equipment,” she reminded.

Echoing Briand, Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, added that “safety equipment is very important, but equipment is not what makes you safe — it’s the equipment in the hands of a trained professional.

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