Philippines to produce medical-grade PPEs for coronavirus frontliners

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 06 2020 10:43 AM

Hospital frontliners wear personal protective equipment as they man the entrance of the emergency room in the Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center in Tondo, Manila on March 24, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- The Philippines will start local production of medical-grade personal protective equipment (PPEs) next week to ensure ample supply for health workers leading the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Monday.

Around 10,000 PPEs a day can be produced by the government with the help of member-companies of the Confederation of Wearable Exporters of the Philippines, Nograles said.

"Raw materials for these will be shipped in by this week and the roll-out of production at the garment factories will immediately start after the Holy Week," the Cabinet official said in a virtual press briefing.

Several hospitals have asked for donations of PPEs as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in the country. Some hospitals have had difficulty purchasing the PPEs because of the global shortage caused by the pandemic.

Last week, the Department of Health announced that it bought 1 million sets of PPEs, worth P1.8 billion.

Each set includes an N95 mask, goggles, coveralls, head cover, shoe cover, surgical mask, gloves, and surgical gown.

Of the said PPEs, 15,000 have already arrived while the remaining sets are expected to arrive until April 24, the DOH said.

As of Sunday, the Philippines has a total of 3,246 cases of COVID-19 which includes 152 deaths and 64 recoveries.