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10 Million Masks are Urgently Needed in Italy to Fight Coronavirus

Italy which is at high risk of coronavirus right now is in desperate need of 10 million face masks to protect people from catching coronavirus. There are no face masks production units in Italy and it depends upon international suppliers for it. For now, it is getting nearly 800,000 from South Africa but it is still in a need of at least 10 million more masks.

A statement from an Italian civil protection official Luigi D’Angelo, Civil Protection Department says; “We received 400,000 from South Africa (on Monday) and will receive as many.”

He also said that the delivery of these supplies is taking place through Fiumicino airport in Rome and from there, it would be distributed to all cities in Italy. Right now, Italy has reported 79 deaths by coronavirus but more than 2,500 people are still infected.

D’Angelo declares that Italy needs “eight million surgical masks”, for patients of coronavirus and everyone who has been in contact with all these infected people. He also said that Italy would also require “several million FFP2 and FFP3 masks to be used by health operators who are in direct contact with patients.”

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Generally, these white FFP2 and FFP3 masks are better and more protective than the typical green masks used in medical/surgical procedures. However, D’Angelo suggests that a mask should not be worn for more than six hours.

Ever since the cases of coronavirus were reported in Italy, the hospitals were initially equipped with all such supplies but as it spread rapidly, these supplies were used and eventually ended.  As per D’Angelo, the Italian hospitals are “running out of supplies”, especially in the region where these cases are reported maximum. It was using more than 200,000 masks a day which eventually led to masks shortage.

As that of Tuesday, Lombardy has confirmed 55 deaths by a coronavirus and total o 1,520 cases currently diagnosed.

To overcome this mask shortage, Italy has asked other mask manufacturing companies from Romania, Switzerland and the Netherlands. But there is no confirmation on supplies right now.

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The civil protection service advises people to follow the home quarantine if they see mild symptoms or those who are in contact with people diagnosed with coronavirus. But it doesn’t mean to share a room and bathroom with any of the family members.  The Italian government has set up quarantine for infected patients near Rome and Turin and planning to set up more of them near Milan to accommodate a maximum number of people.

The authorities are also establishing camps and tents next to hospitals for attendants and people who are in contact with infected patients. This is an attempt to control the spread of infection. D’Angelo said;

“We have set up 330-350 pre-sorting tents in front of hospital emergency (departments) and 130 in front of prisons to keep them from turning into hotbeds of the epidemic.” He further added that “This is primarily aimed at avoiding the experience Italy had with the so-called “patient one”, who involuntarily spread the virus on its initial arrival in the country.

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Areeba Hussain

The author is a fulltime medical and healthcare writer. She graduated in Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. Her areas of prime interest are medicine, medical technology, disease awareness, and research analysis. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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