Definition: Personal protective equipment (PPE) is protective clothing, helmets, goggles, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer's body from injury, infection, health or safety risks. The hazards addressed by protective equipment include physical, electrical, heat, chemicals, biohazards, and airborne particulate matter.
Early on in the crisis, authorities and organisations started to assess which level of PPE would be required for frontline workers and which, if any, should be advised for the public.
Initially there was a shortage of PPE for medical staff and frontline workers, which was addressed in due course. The message for the public was that masks and gloves would not be necessary, however this information changed as more advice became available and more discussions took place. To this date there remains conflicting opinion on how effective or otherwise face coverings are and studies continue to emerge both for and against their use.
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