Public are key to the battle – Richmond – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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Public are key to the battle – Richmond

The Chief of Staff at the Bermuda Hospitals Board said that the community was the “first line of defence” against Covid-19, as he urged citizens to help stop the spread of the disease.

Michael Richmond told The Royal Gazette that a supply of N95 respirator masks and procedure masks had arrived this week for frontline healthcare workers and that more personal protective equipment was on order.

He said global demand for such supplies was creating a worldwide shortage and had led to revised arrival times for the equipment.

Dr Richmond said: “We are doing all we can to secure all we need to manage a surge, and we have some capacity right now, but whether we have enough depends on how big a potential surge is, and how long it lasts, and whether our shipments continue to arrive on time.

“This is why we have to stress and stress again that the first line of defence is the community to stop the spread by staying at home, washing hands, not touching eyes, nose and mouth, and covering coughs.”

The BHB began ordering equipment, supplies and extra medicine in early February as the potential impact of the coronavirus pandemic was reviewed by health chiefs on the island.

The Ministry of Health also orders equipment and the two entities co-ordinate and share resources.

Last week, the health ministry said it had received supplies of protective equipment which did not include the N95 respirators, which fit tightly around the face and are rated as being capable of filtering 95 per cent of airborne particles.

The ministry shipment contained 100 cases of isolation gowns, three cases of aprons, 30 pairs of goggles, 600 digital thermometers, six thermometer scanners and 10,000 two-ounce containers of hand sanitiser.

David Burt, the Premier, told a press conference on Friday that shipment of equipment from China was expected to arrive this Thursday.

Dr Richmond, who attends the Covid-19 Emergency Measures Organisation, said: “We are very happy that a shipment of masks came in this week, and that more protective equipment is on order and hoped to arrive in the coming weeks.

“However, the global shortage has already led to revised arrival times, so we are acutely aware that any supplies we have today are incredibly precious and must be preserved for frontline workers who are caring directly for and are most at risk from potential Covid-19 patients.

“We have supplies of gloves and gowns available, and PAPR hoods, but again, we must treat these with great care.”

Michael Richmond, Chief of Staff at the Bermuda Hospitals Board, speaks during the daily coronavirus press conference yesterday (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published March 30, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated March 30, 2020 at 9:06 am)

Public are key to the battle – Richmond

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