Some medical supplies to fight COVID-19 arrive

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If any ICU grade ventilators are among the PPE and medical supplies it is not known yet whether any of them will go to Joondalup Health Campus. File picture

IT is not known yet whether any of the first batch of personal protective equipment and medical supplies organised by the Minderoo Foundation will go to Joondalup Health Campus.

Yesterday the Department of Health (DoH) said the first batch of supplies had arrived and was being assessed.

A DoH spokeswoman said the department was working closely with Minderoo Foundation  to review the products and the associated technical information provided with them.

After a report that Spanish health authorities found only 30 per cent of 9000 rapid diagnostic tests supplied by a Chinese manufacturer had proved reliable Yanchep News Online asked the department if any of those diagnostic tests were included in the supplies.

According to the report Spanish health authorities had bought 640,000 of the kits but four of their hospitals found the tests gave negative results for patients who were known positives.
The DoH spokeswoman said the department was evaluating all personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical equipment to ensure it was fit for purpose.

“PPE and medical equipment sourced by the Minderoo Foundation will be evaluated for quality and suitability by experienced clinical review teams,’’ she said.

“This review will enable WA Health to prioritise the supplies and allocate them appropriately to hospitals, other government agencies and organisations that require additional equipment.’’

She said it was unknown if any ICU grade ventilators were among the medical supplies and if they were whether any of them would go to Joondalup Health Campus.
A statement on the Minderoo Foundation website says the three batches of supplies would include more than 1 million N95 equivalent face masks, 400,000 surgical masks, 2.3 million medical-grade gloves, 100,000 nasal swabs, 200,000 medical coveralls, 10,000 medical goggles, 5000 touch-less thermometers and more than 33 ICU grade ventilators.

Health Minister Roger Cook said the state would only buy what was suitable and what met WA’s high quality control standards.

In the past fortnight the McGowan Government has been encouraging people to stay at home as much as possible and increasing testing criteria while it increased the health system’s capacity to provide critical care for COVID-19 patients.

On Tuesday, March 31 Mr Cook said the government was working to increase the number of ventilators and ICU beds available.

He said the government had on order 301 ventilators, 201 humidifiers, 4000 pulse oximeters and 200 ICU beds, which was being sourced from a range of global suppliers with the first batch of equipment due in Perth in the coming weeks.

Also on order were 200 ICU beds with their associated equipment – infusion pumps, syringe drivers and vital signs monitoring systems to equip the beds.

“The state government is committed to minimising the impact of COVID-19 on the WA community and while our efforts to date have been focused on containing the virus, we must prepare for the prospect of more cases becoming seriously ill,’’ he said.

“The new equipment will significantly enhance the ability of our medical staff to care for an expected increase in cases.

“All these new initiatives are just the first stage of increasing capacity across the public hospital system to fight the COVID-19 crisis.”

On March 30 Australian Medical Association WA president Andrew Miller in More Joondalup ICU beds, staff needed to fight COVID-19 said that as the disease spread throughout he northern suburbs the Joondalup emergency department would need to triple in size and its intensive care unit double.