Not all staff can get N95 masks: hospital chief - RTHK
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Not all staff can get N95 masks: hospital chief

2020-03-10 HKT 13:58
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  • Not all staff can get N95 masks: hospital chief
The Hospital Authority said on Tuesday that not every healthcare worker will be able to get hold of N95 respirators that offer better protection against the coronavirus than surgical masks, due to a limited amount of supplies.

Dr Chung Kin-lai, the authority's director for quality and safety, expressed regret that some staff can only use surgical masks, because the respirators have been reserved for those carrying out work deemed to be risky.

He said although some frontline staff would like to use the respirators, they can only be given to those doing procedures that generate aerosols and droplets, such as tracheotomies, chest physiotherapy, or treatment for respiratory conditions using nebulisers.

Chung said the protective gear in stock for medical workers would only last for two months at most as the coronavirus outbreak continues in Hong Kong, with about 24 million surgical masks and 1.1 million N95 respirators available at present.

Speaking at a meeting of Legco's health services panel, he said tightening the use of N95 masks in public hospitals had been a difficult but necessary move to take.

"If we aren't careful about the usage today, we won't have them available next week if there is a genuine need," he said.