The current outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has become a pandemic. All COVID-19-affected countries in the world are implementing containment interventions and trying their best to fight against the disease to halt the further spread of the infection and to reduce mortality.
The public health workforce and healthcare staff in clinical settings are playing a crucial role in the early detection of cases, contact tracing and treatment of patients. The availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) and their consistent, proper use by healthcare providers and public health professionals is a crucial factor in combating any infectious disease in a crisis. The requirement of PPE has exponentially increased, as more and more countries are experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic.
The rapid spread of the pandemic has created a temporary shortage of PPE in many countries, including India. The lack of PPE has affected the morale of healthcare workers (HCWs) and other frontline warriors in fighting the coronavirus disease, as more than 22,000 health workers in 56 countries have suffered from COVID-19. Some of them have succumbed to it across all countries, including India (WHO).
We have reviewed the available literature to understand the challenges in ensuring adequate availability and consistent use of PPE and the strategies for the rational use of PPE in India. Our study reveals that India has responded swiftly to enhance the accessibility of PPE and put in place strategies for the judicious use of PPE to reduce the incidence of the COVID-19 infection to a bare minimum in healthcare settings.
In the present article, we report the current status of COVID-19 among HCWs. We have reviewed the challenges and the surge strategies adopted by India to produce or procure good-quality PPE and supply it to all service delivery points in adequate quantities.