Intended for healthcare professionals


Complete protection from covid-19 is possible for health workers

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 07 July 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m2641

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Use of personal protective equipment against coronavirus disease 2019 by healthcare professionals in Wuhan, China

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  1. Ulf Karlsson, consultant,
  2. Carl-Johan Fraenkel, consultant
  1. Department of Infectious Diseases and Infection Control, Skane University Hospital, Kioskgatan 17, 22185, Lund, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to: U Karlsson ulf.karlsson{at}

All they need is the right protective equipment

At the start of the new coronavirus epidemic in Wuhan, healthcare workers were insufficiently protected because of lack of awareness of the emergence of a novel infectious disease.1 As recognition increased of the contagiousness of what was to be named covid-19, the strains on the medical system quickly became overwhelming, and initial shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) continued to contribute to a substantially increased risk of infection among healthcare workers.2 Multifaceted efforts, which included increased production and reallocation of PPE, rigorous contact tracing and quarantine measures, as well as moving healthcare workers from other parts of China to the epicentre, may all have contributed to reducing the risk for healthcare workers and curbing the epidemic in Hubei province.3

In a recent BMJ study4 Liu and colleagues found that none of 420 doctors and nurses reallocated to frontline work at Wuhan hospitals from 24 January to 7 April 2020 contracted covid-19.4 The staff received training in proper …

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