Covid-19: AIIMS doctors use self-made masks, sanitisers to tackle shortage

The number of positive cases of coronavirus has climbed to 151 in India, including 25 foreign nationals. Three persons have died due to the infection so far in the country.

Amid the rising cases of coronavirus in the national capital, medical experts at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here are using hand sanitizers and plastic face shields, which they have made themselves, as makeshift Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) while they look after COVID-19 patients.

The doctors of the microbiology department have made hand sanitisers and face shields (masks) in their laboratory as they are witnessing the shortage of personal protective gears in the hospital.

Dr Purva Mathur, professor of laboratory medicine and the incharge of infection control department at AIIMS, Delhi has taken this initiative after holding a discussion with the hospital administration.

"At AIIMS, we cannot take any chance. PPE has been provided by the administration, but these are not enough. So, we have to make other suitable alternatives. Apart from makeshift plastic face masks which can cover the entire face, we have also prepared alcohol-based hand sanitizers as per the guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO). And it is always good to be fully prepared," said a senior doctor, from the department of infection control said.

According to the available evidence on efficacy, tolerability and cost-effectiveness, World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends using an alcohol-based hand rub for routine hand antisepsis in most clinical situations.

"Handrub sanitisers are comprised of Ethanol, Hydrogen peroxide, Glycerol and distilled water. As of now, we have made about 20 litres of hand sanitizers. And about 100 plastic sheet face masks have been designed for doctors deputed for the screening of COVID19 patients. In the coming days, we would be able to prepare more of these protective items," said a doctor.

PPE consists of mask, eye shield, shoe cover, gown and gloves which doctors wear while treating COVID19 patients.

On Monday, ANI reported that AIIMS Resident Doctors' Association (RDA) has written to Director Randeep Guleria informing him about inadequate availability of PPE in AIIMS during COVID19 outbreak in India.

"A team of RDA executives inspected various wards to check the supply of PPE in the critical time of COVID19 and sadly most of the wards do not have adequate universal precautionary components. We request the administration to take prompt action to ensure PPE availability around the clock for the safety of doctors and nurses," Dr Adarsh Pratap Singh, President of RDA states in his letter to the Director, Dr Randeep Guleria.

The number of positive cases of coronavirus has climbed to 151 in India, including 25 foreign nationals. Three persons have died due to the infection so far in the country.

Globally, the virus has infected nearly 185,000 people and killed more than 7500, as per the latest data available on the World Health Organisation website.

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