The Government Logistics Department will comply strictly with the guidelines on distributing protective gear and accord priority to frontline staff participating in quarantine-related work, quarantine order execution and essential public service maintenance.
The Financial Services & the Treasury Bureau made the statement today in response to media enquiries about the guidelines on distributing protective gear within government departments.
The bureau said with the development of the novel coronavirus infection situation, the demand for protective gear such as masks and isolation gowns has drastically increased in recent days.
Facing a worldwide shortage of masks, the Government Logistics Department has adopted a multi-pronged approach and stepped up its global sourcing efforts to meet operational requirements.
The statement said the department has at present a stock of about 12 million masks, and that together with the stock kept by individual departments and production by the Correctional Services Department, the current total stock can last for only about two months.
It also pointed out that all government departments have worked very hard to keep their demands for masks to a minimum and the total demand has been reduced to about eight million masks per month – the majority of which are used for tackling and preventing the novel coronavirus infection.
These include demand from the Department of Health’s medical and port health staff and staff from other government departments providing essential and emergency services.
Citing Police as an example, the statement said officers have very often been deployed at the frontline to tackle the novel coronavirus infection together with other government departments, including being stationed at quarantine centres and boundary control points to help with quarantine duties, as well as conducting spot checks on people under compulsory quarantine.
The provision of masks to government officers who perform these duties is in compliance with the current guidelines on the distribution of protective gear within the Government, it added.