The Friday Report: February 7th, 2020

Quick wrap up of a few hot topic newsworthy stories in the supply chain logistics industry

Recall of Contaminated Surgical Gowns Results in Cancelled Surgeries

Industry giant Cardinal Health recently announced two voluntary recalls for surgical gowns.  In January, Cardinal Health advised healthcare providers to cease utilization of some specific types of surgical gowns and packs due to potential cross contamination issues.

Cardinal Health had moved production to locations with “uncontrolled environments” which lacked approval by the Food and Drug Administration.  Because some of the affected surgical gowns were placed in procedure packs with other goods, these surgical gowns were impacted as well as they may have contaminated goods within the packaging.

Cardinal Health ramped up production, mobilized employees across the company to collaborate with healthcare providers to ensure replacement of the gowns and procedure packs after identifying acceptable alternatives from other industry partners.

Surgical Mask Shortage Increases Chances that Coronavirus Will Spread

A ubiquitous symbol of the worldwide concern over the possible spread of coronavirus across the world, surgical masks are not only an everyday necessity and required resource to help contain the outbreak, but also a powerful visual reminder that Chinese manufacturers produce most of the masks used across the world.

95 percent of the surgical masks used in the United States and 70 percent of the respirators (tighter-fitting, thicker surgical masks which provide enhanced protection against viruses) are made overseas.  As expected, demand for the protective masks is huge in China.  Even though production has increased rapidly, manufacturing 20 million masks a day, the Chinese foreign ministry reported that masks and safety goggles were running out of supply in the country.  The excessive demand for the safety devices has expanded throughout the world.

American health care organization leaders have recently expressed concern about the potential looming disruption across the supply chain for personal protective equipment.

Chinese Building Second New Hospital to Treat Coronavirus in Wuhan

According to the People’s Daily, China is building a second hospital “within half a month” to treat the dreaded coronavirus.  Intended to solve the existing shortage of medical facilities in the epicenter of the outbreak, the new hospital will be constructed using prefabricated buildings to house 1,000 beds.

The idea is to replicate the plan launched in Beijing in 2003 when the Chinese were struggling to contain an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).  The epidemic subsequently reached 30 countries and took the lives of 774 people.

The Beijing plan involved building a hospital in the northern suburbs in only a week.  Built by 7,000 workers, the Beijing hospital was specifically designed originally to treat people who were in the recovery phase of SARS to alleviate pressure from other hospitals.  Within only two months, the hospital treated one-seventh of all the SARS patients in China.

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