PPE shortages liable to continue post-Covid

Demand for PPE is expected to outstrip supply for some time to come, but for longer-term reasons unconnected with the pandemic, according to a leading manufacturer of medical PPE.

ASAP Innovations states that over the next year buyers should ensure they have a reliable supplier in place.

It points to recent research revealing that ageing populations across Europe, plus new regulatory requirements and an uplift in hygiene awareness, will contribute to increasing levels of demand on manufacturers in Malaysia – which accounts for around 65% of world production.

The firm’s managing director Sean Keller said: ‘Significant shortfalls in supply means it is imperative that end-users seek out certified suppliers in order to ensure quality across all aspects of production, as well as reliable supply chains.

‘The sector has been through multi-faceted predicaments during the pandemic such as shortages of raw materials, Covid outbreaks in Malaysia and a rise in inferior or fraudulent providers entering the market, and credible manufacturers have done very well to reach a point where a demand/supply equilibrium is once more being achieved. 

‘Despite an easing of the pandemic in some countries, demand is still very strong, especially given a new-found appreciation for the need for infection control, both in a range of industrial and personal use contexts.’

He warned that longer-term factors would also threaten future European supplies. People are living longer, more carers will be needed to help vulnerable people, and the working age will also correspondingly lengthen.