Coronavirus: NHS hospitals banned from stockpiling protective masks – The Independent, Independent
NHS hospitals have been banned from stockpiling masks used to protect staff from the coronavirus infection amid fears of a shortage in supply, it has emerged.
As stock markets around the world plunged and parts of Italy remained in lockdown, NHS bosses confirmed on Monday that they have barred trusts from over-ordering respirator masks after some hospitals were said to be panic buying.
Hospitals have been warned that local stockpiling is unnecessary and, from Thursday last week, hospitals were only able to order their normal amount of masks.
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Dentists and GPs have already experienced difficulties in buying masks direct from wholesalers who source the items from China, the center of the outbreak where supplies have almost dried up.
NHS Supply Chain, the body that handles equipment stocks for NHS hospitals, said it is now imposing controls to “maintain continuity of supply across the network.”
The intervention comes amid fears that the Covid – virus could become a pandemic , with northern Italy hit by more than cases and South Korea reporting more than infections.
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