Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

10 March 2020

Sarah Courtney, Minister for Health

Additional supply of face masks for clinical usage welcomed

The Tasmanian majority Liberal Government welcomes the Morrison Government’s announcement that an additional 54 million face masks, which help protect medical professionals working to stop the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, have been secured.

These masks will support front line medical professionals in safely managing the response to the virus and supplement mask stocks for other health professionals which are being impacted by current global supply constraints for masks.

We appreciate the challenge of the global supply issue and its impacts, and we have engaged with local dental practices and the Australian Dental Association on this matter, as well as raising our concern with Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt last week.

I acknowledge the advocacy of Tasmanian dentists on this issue and the constructive approach of the Australian Dental Association – Tasmanian branch. These national developments are positive and the Federal Government and Australian Dental Association are working closely with medical professionals.

The supply issues for masks are a global challenge, and I encourage Tasmanians to heed public health advice that the use of face masks by the general public is not recommended. This helps to ensure availability when they are clinically needed, such as in dental practices, the medical sector and for those in contact with a suspected case.

We will continue to engage closely with the Federal Government, as they work to secure additional masks to ensure the National Medical Stockpile remains well stocked, and Australia has enough personal protective equipment to support our medical professionals as the COVID-19 outbreak unfolds.

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