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The World Health Organization is warning of a "severe disruption" in the market for personal protective equipment amid the 2019-nCoV outbreak, as reported in U.S. News & World.
WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said "global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient to meet the needs of WHO and our partners."
He noted that demand is up to 100 times more than usual for some equipment, while prices are up to 20 times higher.
He also estimated that frontline emergency health responders will need roughly 7% to 10% of the market capacity for the gear.
Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO's health emergencies program, said the shortage will be a difficult problem to solve because it involves producers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers across public and private sectors.
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