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Feature Global Health

Covid-19: how doctors and healthcare systems are tackling coronavirus worldwide

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m1090 (Published 18 March 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m1090

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Re: Covid-19: how doctors and healthcare systems are tackling coronavirus worldwide Using ultraviolet light towers to irradiate high numbers of PPE/ face masks, designed for single use may be a solution both for PPE /Face mas

Dear Editor
The increase in media attention on COVID-19 in the weeks leading up to the coronavirus outbreak in kolkata led to reports of sold out of face masks, hand sanitizers, and other cleaning products in stores. While it is understandable that this situation is unnerving, we have now reached a critical juncture where healthcare workers that are putting themselves on the line do not have enough protective equipment for themselves (PPE) untill supplied form forgein manufacturers. While efforts around rationing of PPE and face masks hand sanitizers and reusing equipment are already underway at many hospitals, it is critical to increase supply as experts expect this crisis to last for many more weeks
in my opinion Face masks can be used once for 6-8 hours and is then disposable. however on using ultraviolet light towers to irradiate high numbers of masks, which are originally designed to only be used once may be a rational solution both for PPE and face masks . Decontamination of PPE / face masks using UV germicidal irradiation (UVGI) exposure so masks can be safely reused. This technology has been efficacious in sterilizing masks for reuse following influenza and H5N1 infection in numerous studies . This method will fill the gap to protect healthcare workers until production /purchase of new, disposable PPE/ face masks can be adequately increased to meet demand

Competing interests: No competing interests

21 March 2020
Professor Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya MD (calcutta University) FIC path(India)
Professor of Pathology
Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine
Professor of Pathology Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine 108 Chittaranjan avenue kolkata-700073 West Bengal India