Thailand develops reusable PPE for medical workers

Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul (center).
Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul (center).

BANGKOK – Medical workers who are at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic face the highest risk of infection. Personal Protective Equipment or PPE is essential to protect themselves against the virus, however it can only be used once. Now, the Ministry of Public Health has joined forces with related agencies to developed reusable PPEs that are domestically manufactured.

The newly developed PPE comes in the form of a long-sleeve protective gown that can be washed and re-used at least 20 times; it is intended to be used as a substitute for the conventional single-use gowns.

It is the result of cooperative development between the Food and Drugs Administration, the Government Pharmaceutical Organization, the Department of Medical Sciences, the Department of Science Service, Thailand Textile Institute, and 13 certified manufacturers.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul, said today the safety of medical workers and patients has been the main priority in the development of the new reusable PPE.

The Ministry of Public Health aims to manufacture this protective wear domestically, which will help reduce the cost of some 10 billion baht for PPE imports.

The first 44,000 new PPEs have already been manufactured. The MOPH Permanent Secretary Sukhum Karnchanapimai said today that all these PPEs will be taken to the Government Pharmaceutical Organization this month, before being delivered to the medical supplies’ distribution center, responsible for the distribution of these much-needed items to hospitals across the country.(NNT)