Many health care institutions in Belgium need additional medical supplies due to the novel Coronavirus epidemic, Santhea and Zorgnet-Icuro, which represent French- and Dutch-language establishments, recalled on Monday.
They are grappling with shortages of not only face masks but also protective gowns, gloves and disinfectant.
Last week, Santhea had already called on individuals and businesses to donate medical supplies. In addition to masks, the federation said, medical overcoats, overalls and complete suits were in short supply, as well as protective glasses, bonnets, sterile aprons, hydroalcohol solutions, and surface and floor cleaners.
“These materials are still in short supply,” said Valérie Victoor, General Counsel of Santhea, which represents hospitals, nursing homes and other health care institutions in Wallonia and Brussels. “The arrival of masks announced by the authorities provides some breathing space but does solve the problem of stocks. The needs related to other types of supplies also have to be anticipated.”
“Nursing homes are not equipped like hospitals,” added Margot Cloet, Director-General of Zorgnet-Icuro, which represents institutions in Flanders. “They urgently need additional supplies.”
Many hospitals have also reported that they need respirators and anesthesia, used to treat patients infected by the novel Coronavirus, Santhea said.