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GPO launches level 3 PPE suits for next phase of virus battle

Aug 18. 2020
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By The Nation

The first batch of Thai-made level 3 PPE suits are ready to be shipped to hospitals nationwide for the next phase in the battle against Covid-19.

The Reusable Isolated Gown Level 3 PPE is the fruit of a collaboration between the government and private sector. Made from recycled material, the suits can be washed a reused up to 50 times, the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO) announced today. The GPO previously developed the higher-protection level 2 “We Fight” PPE suits to defend Thai medics at the height of the virus outbreak.

“It is gratifying that Thailand has successfully manufactured the level 3 recycled PPE series using 100 per cent recycled PET bottles. Previously we had to import the [level 2 suits] from abroad. Citizens and organisations have helped by collecting used PET bottles for development of the new suit. This also promotes waste-plastic separation, recycling and environmental responsibility," said Dr Sopon.

During the height of the pandemic from April to May, the demand for PPE rose to 35,000 sets per day. The Thai-made level 2 PPE suits helped meet the peak demand. Now, with no new domestic cases for more than 80 days, level 3 recycled PPE will help meet demand from hospitals while reducing contaminated waste since it can reused 50 times.

One level 2 suit is made from 18 bottles (600ml) of recycled polyethylene (PET) fibres. The fibres are woven into two layers then coated with a water repellent chemical that protects against contamination by blood or viruses for up to 50 washes. At least 13 factories have been contracted to produce the new PPE suits and sets, which have been certified by the Food and Drug Administration.

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