The Commoditization of Face Masks and PPE - What Happened?


The outspread of the deadly virus around the globe has unbalanced the supply and demand ratio of face masks. People are massively buying masks and respirators, and the need is ever so increasing. It is expected that if the COVID-19 does not stop spreading around, an increase in the shortage of respirator supply will be faced.

The FDA has realized that the growing need for personal protective equipment by healthcare and medical staff may outgrow its supply after the outbreak of COVID. In such a situation, the FDA is helping the manufacturers on a large scale to improve mitigation strategies that are linked to the COVID-19 outbreak. The FDA has opened its doors for PPE manufacturers to collaborate with them to maximize the generation and production of face masks and respirators.

FDA has already suggested utilizing the conservation strategies to healthcare organizations for the clinical needs and supply levels. The FDA has recommended these suggestions not to intend a replacement or specific controls but to augment. The infamous shortages of PPE and face masks have been thought to be addressed by ways suggested by innovative minds using industrial means. The industry is too new to be able to support such an immediate and urgent need for a huge level of production of PPE. The masks Manufacturers will have to maximize their production rates up to 40 percent to meet the growing demands of masses. From the month when COVID took its first phase of spreading into the world, the prices of protective equipment raised too many folds making it even more difficult for everyone to be able to have protection against the deadly virus.

The officials and governments must make sure that the industries ramp up their PPE production numbers. They must also ease the restrictions on the export and distribution of PPE and other medical supplies. To maximize the use of these masks in a limited number of items, the public should try to conserve the items they have in store. Throwing out surgical masks after a single use is advised, but N95 masks can be used repeatedly, and so they must not be thrown away after the initial application. Use face masks where necessary and not at places where you might not be able to catch the virus, i.e., your homes.

People in Australia have seen a massive surge towards the shortage of PPE and face masks due to which the providers and manufacturers faced a stressful time. Those who had bought a bulk of respirators started selling them at huge prices. An unbalance in supply and demand halted the market. Still, things can be brought back into place by maximizing the production of face masks like N95 at a faster pace. The commoditization of face masks and PPE led to even more challenges for the officials. This is why it is suggested to people of Australia to stay indoors to scale off the use of face masks and PPE.