GENEVA, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) — The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday called for proper use of personal protection equipment (PPE) against COVID-19, as appropriate training and behavior in how to use PPE may play an even more important role.
“The PPE is just one element of protection; more importantly is how to use the PPE,” said Sylvie Briand, director of the Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness at WHO, at a daily briefing on COVID-19.
She added that WHO has seen on many occasions that for very dangerous pathogen, even with the highest level of PPE, one can still get infected because of inattention and mistakes made when one is tired. Such cases have been observed in the Ebola outbreak.
“The discussion is more of how to make sure that health workers feel safe, and how to ensure that they properly use the PPE,” she said. “There are times when some very sophisticated PPE can give a full sense of security, then one forgets some of the basics such as washing the hands when finished using the PPE.”
“Equipment should be used to its best and one should not rely only on the equipment,” she reminded.
Echoing Briand, Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, added that “safety equipment is very important, but equipment is not what makes you safe — it’s the equipment in the hands of a trained professional.”