New Delhi: The AIIMS has released guidelines for the reuse of PPE, citing their fast depletion of stocks in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, while stressing that the methods for disinfection should only be considered as extraordinary last-resort methods in the event of an imminent shortages of such kits.
According to the AIIMS guidelines, decontamination of PPE kits for the purpose of reuse is currently not recommended, primarily because of concerns that it would degrade the performance, especially of the respirator.
But then, decontamination and reuse of PPE kits may provide another solution by extending the existing on-hand supplies, the guidelines say.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has strained our resources tremendously in the healthcare setting. One of the most urgent issues is the fast depletion of personal protective equipment (PPE) used in the care of patients. This is a significant concern for healthcare workers' health and safety," the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) said.
Healthcare workers across the country have highlighted the paucity of PPE, including coveralls, goggles, masks, gloves and shoe covers among others.
According to the AIIMS guidelines, coveralls and N95 masks can be decontaminated using doubling dilution of 11 per cent hydrogen peroxide vapour in a sealed room while face shields and goggles can be decontaminated using 0.5 per cent sodium hypochlorite solution and 70 per cent alcohol.
The death toll due to the novel coronavirus rose to 149 and the number of cases climbed to 5,194 in the country on Wednesday, according to the Union Health Ministry.
However, a PTI tally of the figures reported by various states as on Tuesday 9.45 pm showed at least 162 deaths in the country due to COVID-19.