"We can't stop COVID-19 without protecting our health workers", WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva on March 5, noting prices of masks have surged sixfold and the cost of ventilators has tripled.
More than half of providers reported a supply disruption, with 15% of respondents saying the issue was "major or moderate".
Manufacturing company 3M also announced on Sunday that N95 respirator masks are making their way from a plant in South Dakota to the hardest hit regions like Washington and NY right now. Another 39% saw the scarcity of masks as a minor disruption, while 44% said there was no disruption.
3M, which had $32 billion in revenue this past year, is among the manufacturers of the N95 masks, which have been at hospitals in short supply as the number of individuals with COVID-19 has increased dramatically.
Jack O'Brien is the finance editor at HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.
They're among scores of people answering pleas from hospitals, doctors and nurses so desperate for personal protective equipment amid the viral pandemic that they've turned to the public, saying do-it-yourself face masks are better than nothing.
While homemade masks cant technically be medical grade, the CDC finds well-made masks like the ones below to be useful.
I have N95 masks.
A medical store owner told Geo News that a box of ordinary surgical masks that would have ordinarily cost somewhere between Rs300 to 400 was being sold for more than Rs2,000. For example, according to Jennifer Bayersdorfer, the vice president at Providence St. Joseph hospital, for St. Joseph's 51 hospitals, roughly 100 million masks are needed. Multiple hospitals are asking for as many as they can get for both frontline medical staff & patients. According to the CDC, these masks filter out about 95% of airborne particles, including viruses and bacteria.
But the virus is spreading rapidly and starting to max out the health care system in several cities. My goal is to coordinate an effort that gets 5,000 masks into the hands of those who need them. Instead, when everyone wears masks, it reduces the likelihood that an otherwise asymptomatic person might infect others. I'm caring for someone who might have COVID-19.
"It's disappointing when you see that because we're trying to redirect everything to healthcare workers", said Roman on CNBC.