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Philippines to manufacture medical-grade PPE sets for health workers, says Nograles

The Philippines will begin next week the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) sets for health workers on the frontlines in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Monday.

Nograles said the government and the Confederation of Wearable Exporters of the Philippines (CONWEP) have collaborated to produce at least 10,000 medical-grade PPE coveralls each day.

“Under this partnership, member-companies of CONWEP executed the design prototype of the PPE coveralls. After several tests by DOH [Department of Health] and PGH [Philippine General Hospital], CONWEP refitted the design prototypes until these were approved by the DOH and PGH,” he said during a virtual press briefing.

“Raw materials for these will be shipped in by this week and the roll out of production at the garment factories will immediately start after the Holy Week.”

CONWEP was able to source medical-grade materials including the face hoodie part and garters which have fabric importation certificates from an international accreditation firm, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

It also said the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) will procure the initial 10,000 pieces of PPE coveralls and donate these to the PGH.

The DTI said the Board of Investments linked the private and health sectors in developing a medical-grade prototype that can be used even in high COVID-risk hospital situations such as operating rooms, COVID-19 positive wards and intensive care units.

Medical and healthcare groups have repeatedly asked for donations of PPEs for the frontliners, with supplies dwindling amid the continued increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

The government earlier announced the procurement of one million PPE sets from China with the delivery expected to be completed within this month. — RSJ, GMA News