By now almost everyone knows that the threat of coronavirus has led to an unprecedented spike in the demand for face masks. But as people scramble to pay extortionate prices for these masks, those in key at-risk medical areas are under threat of not having the supplies they need to fight COVID-19.
The NAAB Ambulance Service LLC sounded the alarm and alerted Belgium’s Minister of Health, Mrs Maggie De Block, about the administrative oversight when it came to dealing with the specific medical needs health and medical staff need to protect against the virus in the sanitary transport sectors, telling her that the shortage of FFP2 masks could put paramedics in danger.
The CEO of NAAB Ambulance Service LLC, Arnaud Franchini, has said that when Mrs De Block addressed identifying and treating those suspected of having COVID-19, she did not include how paramedics involved in medical and health transportation could be affected, and what measures could be done to prevent this.
These paramedics in particular are on the front line when it comes to the care of patients who are infected or suspected of infection.
The NAAB Ambulance Service say they have raised numerous queries and concerns about the supply of protective equipment, but have received zero response. They say this shortage of FFP2 masks in particular is a real and present danger to the health of staff who may be exposed to it. The result is that they are left unable to carry out their jobs as needed, such is the need to mitigate risks.
Plus it’s not just coronavirus that poses a risk. Every day these paramedics transport large numbers of patients who are contagious for a wide variety of infections, and they need the robust protection to guard against it, yet they have almost exhausted their supply of masks now.
As meetings are convened with a variety of different health professionals, paramedics and medical transporters are frequently finding themselves without invites. The whole sector is said to need guarantees from those with the authority to make a difference and get them the supplies of equipment they need.
As the government departments and authorities continue to ignore them, the NAAB Ambulance Service LLC is making repeated efforts to get a response, and is urgently requesting the necessary communication to discuss the need for supplies of FFP2 masks that will protect staff and the public too.