FRANCE burned 1.6 billion face masks before the coronavirus pandemic because we thought they would not be necessary, we learned.
The country saw 35 doctors die from Covid 19 and they are among the hundreds of doctors around the world who have lost their lives due to a lack of personal protective equipment.
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At one point, France had in stock one billion surgical masks and 714 million high performance FFP2 masks, which filter 94% of particles, in preparation and in the event of an epidemic of swine flu or SARS.
But when it was discovered that these diseases were less deadly than previously thought, the decision was made to burn them, reports the Times.
When the coronavirus hit France, it was found that there were only 117 million masks left.
The scandal saw the popularity of President Emmanuel Macron collapse.
Jean-Paul Hamon, president of the Federation of Physicians of France, said at a meeting of the Ministry of Health in February that general practitioners were wearing FFP2 masks.
But eight days after the meeting, officials called to say that GPs did not need the masks and ordinary masks would – as long as the patients wore them too.
“The problem was that there were not enough masks for the patients. It was then that we started to think, “Hey, ho! There is something here, ”he said.
The 73-year-old, who was among 4,000 doctors infected, said that some doctor deaths had been reduced if more FFP2 masks were available.
“The ministers lied when they said that FFP2 masks were not necessary for general practitioners, and they lied again when they said there was no point in providing ordinary masks to the general public,” said he declared.
Pierre Giacometti, a leading sounder, said that Macrons was badly damaged,
“The manipulation of the masks really damaged his image,” he said.
“People have the impression that he did not have a clear vision of what he was doing and tried to hide the truth from them. “
At least 90,000 healthcare workers worldwide have been infected with the coronavirus, a report revealed earlier this month.
Hundreds of people on the front line in the fight against the disease have died from a lack of PPE.
The World Health Organization has said that 89 million medical masks, 76 million gloves and 1.6 million glasses are needed per month, but that a lack of equipment “puts lives at risk”.
In Italy, at least 100 doctors were killed amid anger over lack of protection.
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The head of the Italian doctors’ association Filippo Anelli said: “We can allow our doctors, our health workers, to be sent to fight without any protection against the virus any longer. It’s an unfair fight. “
In the United States, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 60,000 health workers have been infected and nearly 300 have died from Covid-19.
But National Nurses United said its own count shows more than 530 health care deaths.