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World faces 'chronic shortage' of gowns, masks amid novel coronavirus outbreak: WHO Updated: 2020-02-08 12:39:23 KST

The chief of the World Health Organization said there is a "chronic shortage" of gowns, masks and gloves, amid the novel coronavirus spreading across borders.
But also said that he will work to find a solution.

"The world is facing a chronic shortage of personal protective equipment, as you might imagine. This afternoon, I will be speaking to the Pandemic Supply Chain Network to identify the bottlenecks and find solutions."

WHO has been sending test kits, masks, gloves and other equipment to affected regions.
But, in another press briefing, the Director-General said demand for the protective medical gear is 100 times higher than normal, while prices are 20 times their usual rates.
He said the situation has worsened due to a hoarding of protective gear, and this has made it difficult in supplying the equipment to medical workers.

"WHO discourages stockpiling of PPE in countries and areas where transmission is low. We call on all countries and companies to work with WHO to ensure fair and rational use of supplies."

The U.N. also discussed an official name for the virus during their meeting.
WHO has given an interim name of '2019 Novel Coronavirus Acute Respiratory Disease'.
It said omitting a location from its name, such as 'Wuhan' or 'China', will help avoid stigmatization.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.
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