Updated guidelines protecting frontline workers against Covid-19

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) welcomes the release of updated guidelines on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect frontline healthcare workers against the aerosol transmission of Covid-19.

The guidelines, which were developed by the Infection Control Expert Group (ICEG) in collaboration with the National Covid-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce Infection Prevention and Control Panel, and the Commonwealth Minister for Health, in September 2020 have reportedly been updated and are now more explicit around the protection of frontline healthcare workers.

According to AMA President, Dr Omar Khorshid the updated guidelines are much more explicit on the need for healthcare workers to be provided with N95/P2 masks when managing patients with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 to protect them against the risk of aerosol transmission.

“Too many healthcare workers in Australia have been placed at risk of Covid-19 because of the lack of adequate PPE and these new guidelines could not have come soon enough, particularly as Australia still remains at significant risk of outbreaks,” says Dr Khorshid.

“The new guidelines will help improve safety for healthcare workers, including those in hotel quarantine, and reduce the risks of future lockdowns caused by staff transmission to the community as we have seen over the past few months.

“With better PPE and the vaccination of frontline healthcare workers they will now feel much safer at work and no longer worry about passing on this virus to their family and friends.”

For more on the revised PPE guidelines, visit: health.gov.au/resources/publications/guidance-on-the-use-of-personal-protective-equipment-ppe-for-health-care-workers-in-the-context-of-covid-19

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