Hospitals are close to running out of masks, gloves, sanitizers, leading medical association warns

The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) has voiced concern about the availability of masks and other protective equipment against the coronavirus outbreak at health centers. TTB head Adıyaman said there are hospitals that have only a week's supply of masks and gloves left.

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The president of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), Sinan Adıyaman, has warned that several hospitals in Turkey are already beginning to run short on masks, gloves and sanitizers, which are essential for protecting health care workers against the new coronavirus.

“Masks and gloves left in one of the oldest university hospitals in Ankara are enough to last only for one week. There are hospitals that have already run out of disinfectants. Supplies are being stolen from hospitals,” Adıyaman said, calling on people to show “social sensitivity” regarding this issue.

Adıyaman made the comments during an interview with online newspaper T24 on March 17.

Adıyaman said that these shortages have been already notified to the Health Ministry and they were waiting for the ministry to tackle this issue.

“There is a need for masks and disinfectants for sterilization at family health centers, polyclinics, emergency units and these [shortages] need to be met. If we cannot protect the health personnel, the society's own health is imperiled,” he said.

Adıyaman said that from now on, more coronavirus tests will be run in Turkey, following Health Minister Fahrettin Koca's statement a day earlier that the number of labs authorized to perform these tests is set to increase in the country.

Adıyaman said that doctors performing these tests should be provided a more specialized mask, known as an N95 respirator, as “normal masks” cannot protect them agains the virus. “As soon as possible, [authorities] should tackle the shortages and the equipment should be provided in ample quantities,” he said.

Adıyaman also touched upon the importance of ventilation in hospitals where coronavirus patients have been placed for quarantine.