Coronavirus hits PPE supplies

Printers have been warned to keep a close eye on their stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE) with the coronavirus outbreak causing a global spike in demand for certain products.

Coronavirus: sales of some protective products have rocketed
Coronavirus: sales of some protective products have rocketed

Yesterday the British Dental Association flagged that some dentists might have to stop work due to a shortage of the face masks worn by dentists and hygienists during procedures.

Some printing companies use protective face masks for certain tasks, such as cleaning damper systems, while disposable nitrile gloves are in common use across the industry.

Steve Charlesworth, owner of consumables supplier What Printers Want said he had seen an increase in orders in recent weeks.

“I supply a lot of disposable gloves and demand has definitely gone up. Some customers have also been asking me if I can get masks for them. I would advise people not to panic buy, but to keep a close eye on their supplies,” he said.

Charlesworth said orders for hand sanitiser had also increased. 

Nationwide safety equipment supplier Arco has posted a ‘Coronavirus product supply update’ on its website saying that the supply of certain health and safety products – specifically face masks, disposable coveralls and sanitisers – had been affected due to the global surge in demand. 

As a result, “supply of these products needs to be carefully managed” Arco stated.

Arco said it would endeavour to continue to supply its existing customers at their usual order levels, and would also prioritise the NHS and emergency services.

However, the business said it would be “unlikely” to be able to fulfil orders from the general public or new customers for those types of products until the situation stabilises.

Nine people have tested positive for the virus in the UK so far. 


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