First batch of China-donated PPEs to arrive in April: DOH

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 17 2020 11:24 AM | Updated as of Mar 17 2020 11:25 AM

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MANILA - Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Tuesday said China's donation of one million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) will start arriving in the country by next month.

"Ang first batch ng PPEs darating April 3 then 15 days thereafter," Duque said in a DZMM interview. 

He added he hopes the delivery will arrive as scheduled "because we have to plan according to scheduled distribution."

Aside from China, Duque said the World Health Organization and UNICEF also donated PPEs to the Philippines.

Last week, WHO turned over more than 2,000 kilos of PPE sets to DOH to support health workers amid the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak.

Each set is composed of gowns, gloves, masks, goggles and alcohol-based handrubs.

There is a global shortage of disposable PPEs since the surge of the contagious disease.

But Duque said he is looking at PPEs that are recyclable.

"Meron akong tinitingnan na PPE na ginagawa sa ibang bansa na recyclables. I-sprayan ng disinfectant 'yung mga gowns, gloves, goggles dahil 'yung virus very sensitive sa sodium hypochlorite," he said.

The Philippines has so far 142 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 12 deaths. Three have recovered. 

The rise in COVID-19 cases prompted the government to implement an enhanced community lockdown in the entire Luzon.

"Alam nating lolobo gaya ng ibang bansa kaya nag-community quarantine para nga maiwasan 'yung tinatawag nating early epidemic peaking, 'yung pagtaas ng bilang. Ang layunin natin ma-flatten ang epidemic curve para angkop siya sa kasalukuyang kapasidad ng mga ospital," he said.