PPE kit: Personal Protective Equipment
While addressing the nation on 12th May, PM Narendra Modi highlighted the increase in the production of PPE Kit. What is PPE kit? PPE, known as Personal Protective Equipment, is protective clothing such as masks, gloves, gown used to guard a person from the contagious diseases. PPE acts as a barrier between the person and the biological agent reducing the risk of getting infected. As COVID-19 grasped the world, PPE kit production has increased widely in India and around the world. PPE has become the need of the hour to combat the deadly pandemic. Moreover, it has also given an opportunity for India to rise from the economic crisis. Today, we produce at least 2 lakh kits on a daily basis.
In his address to the nation, Prime Minister said, “When the Covid-19 started, not even a single PPE kit was manufactured in India, and only a few N95 masks were available. Today two lakh PPE kits and 2 lakh N95 masks are manufactured in India daily,”
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Why are PPE Kits Important?
As we all know, the coronavirus mainly spreads through respiratory droplets that get created when people cough, sneeze or exhale. It also gets transmitted by touching, by direct touch and through contaminated surfaces or objects and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. The people who are in close contact with a suspect/confirmed COVID-19 patient or who care for such patients are at the highest risk of getting infected. Hence, PPE kit is important especially for healthcare workers and frontline workers to guard them against the virus. It breaks the chain of the virus preventing it from spreading further.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Components
The components of PPE include goggles, face-shield, gloves, mask, coverall/gowns (with or without aprons), shoe cover and head cover.
- Face shield and goggles
Eyes, nose and mouth are the most susceptible organs since the droplets generated by cough or sneeze of a person reach the other person through it. The protection of the eyes/nose/mouth by using face shields or goggles is an essential part of standard and contact precautions.
Coronavirus mainly targets the upper and lower respiratory tracts of a person. Hence, protecting the airway from the virus generated by droplets/aerosols prevents human infection. Masks are crucial for everyone to protect oneself and the other person as well. Masks can be of different types depending upon your profession and work. Triple-layered medical masks are disposable masks that prevent the wearer from getting infected. Then, there are N-95 masks that must be worn by the people in essential services and at a higher risk of getting the infection.
When a person comes in contact with an object/surface contaminated by COVID-19 infected person, he/she is likely to touch their own eyes, nose, or mouth, from the same hand. Hence, to avoid the infection, gloves must be worn by people at a higher risk. Nitrile gloves are favoured over latex gloves because they resist chemicals, including certain disinfectants such as chlorine.
Gowns are used mainly to protect the healthcare workers who are at the continuous risk of getting infected. By using proper protective clothing, it is possible to eliminate or reduce contact and droplet exposure, thus protecting healthcare workers working in close proximity (within 1 meter) of suspect/confirmed COVID-19 cases or their secretions.
5. Shoe covers and head covers
Shoe covers and headcovers are worn by the health professional to limit the risk of virus. They act as an additional protective gear to combat COVID-19. In the high-risk zones including the hospitals, it is mandatory to protect yourself from the risk by all possible means.
How India turned a crisis into an opportunity?
As mentioned by PM Modi, before the COVID-19, the production of PPE kits, and masks were limited. Today, we turned the crisis at the time of need into an opportunity by scaling the production. India produces 2 lakhs PPE kits and masks daily increasing the industrial production of these items. Moreover, India is also helping other countries with medical equipment and basic things. We are on the path of becoming a self-reliant nation even in the times of crisis.