The world is running out of masks and other protective equipment against the novel coronavirus, the World Health Organisation chief warned on Friday.
“The world is facing a chronic shortage of personal protective equipment,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the WHO’s executive board in Geneva.
He said he would be speaking to members of the supply chain network for protective gear to try and resolve “bottlenecks” in the production.
WHO, earlier this week, said it had started sending masks, gloves, respirators, protective isolation gowns and test kits to countries requiring assistance.
Tedros also said some countries were still failing to share clinical data on confirmed cases of the virus.
“We urge those member states to share that information immediately,” he said.
“No one country or organisation can stop this outbreak alone. Our best hope and our only hope is to work together.
“We have a common enemy which is dangerous and which can bring serious upheaval, social, political and economic. This is the time to fight it and in unison,” he said.
Tedros also pointed out that for the past two days the number of reported cases of the virus had declined.
He said this was “good news but we caution against reading too much into that — the numbers could go up again”.
The virus has so far killed 638 people.