Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the need for N95 respirator masks will surge in the US. According to GlobalData analysis, around 5.6bn N95 respirator masks are in demand due to the COVID19 outbreak, and up to 7.3bn will be required in the severe scenario.
Tina Deng, Senior Medical Devices at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view on respirators shortage:
“Providing these numbers of N95 respirator masks in a short time represents an intractable challenge for manufacturers. The major manufacturer, 3M Co, expects to ramp up monthly production of N95 respirator masks to 50 million by June in the US, as demand surges from healthcare professionals and first responders battling the coronavirus pandemic. Although the company aims to double the capacity, the N95 respirators are expected to be in short supply in the next three months.
“The US Department of Health and Human Services has said that over the next 18 months it aims to buy 500 million masks for the Strategic National Stockpile, the nation’s supply of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. The amount seems far below the current need. As the shortage continues in the US, public health officials must urgently consider alternative use strategies for N95 respirator masks during the pandemic.
“N95 Respirator Masks, or N95 filtering face piece respirators, are commonly used by healthcare personnel and critical first responders. They are used to prevent from exposure to pathogens by filtering at least 95% of airborne particles.”