Mbabane: Government has come up to acknowledge the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Speaking during a press conference at the cabinet offices yesterday April 20, 2020, the deputy prime minister said His Majesty’s government has acknowledged the shortage of PPEs to effectively contain and fight the spread of COVID-19 in the kingdom.
Masuku said the shortage is not a result of failure on the part of government or any structure involved in the fight against covid-19 but due to an international shortage of supply affecting many countries. “All the countries are battling with procurement and even in the countries where these PPEs are manufactures,” said Masuku.
Masuku emphasized the safety of health workers in the frontline and the nation as a high priority group hence government has intensified efforts to procure the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs).
Government’s admission for lack of PPEs comes at a time when there has been an outcry in the health sector about the lack of protective gear for health workers in the time of Covid-19.
The outcry for the shortage was voiced out by many health care workers including the union of nurses.
The lack of personal protective clothing in the health care sector has led to nurses threatening to strike. Some abandoned work and left patients unattended.
Masuku appealed to the public and said government was working around the clock to fix the issue.
He said Government has ordered enough quantities to serve health workers and needs of the country at the time when all countries across the world are looking for the same equipment. Other countries have banished importation of these PPEs to meet their ever increasing domestic needs.
“It is for this reason the country like the rest of the world continues to experience the shortage of supply,” said Masuku.
Masuku said the country has no capacity to produce the much needed PPE gear hence as government they have started engaging local companies to produce the protective gear especially face masks.
A number of companies have already indicated their willingness to mass produce the face masks to meet the domestic needs.
Masuku appealed to the public to avoid purchasing surgical masks as they are strictly reserved for health workers.
All Emaswati are expected to fully comply to the partial lockdown guidelines and heed the health advise to control the spread of the virus.