Healthcare professionals in the Western Cape will ditch the KN95 masks – which previously formed part of their PPE armoury. The developments come following a study from the University of Cape Town that analysed the effectiveness of this brand. Unfortunately, the Chinese product does not stand up to rigorous scrutiny.
- This, by the way, is the offending article:
KN95 masks branded ‘ineffective’
Dr. Keith Cloete is the Head of the Western Cape’s Department of Health. He declared that the KN95 masks are ‘failing to protect health workers’, revealing that only one in three masks do the job they are supposed to. The medical expert did stress, however, that sufficient supplies of PPE remain available to all hospital workers in the province.
“All our PPE supplies are sufficient in quantity. But we do have a challenge. Studies from UCT have shown that the KN95 masks – many of which were donated – have been found to be ineffective. They aren’t protecting health workers. We tested nine of these masks, and six of them were deemed unsafe. However, we are replenishing our supplies as required.”
Dr Keith Cloete
Western Cape tested its KN95 masks, many of which were donated to it, to see if they were protecting health workers. Of the 9 types of KN95 masks that it was using, six were found to be ineffective, according to Dr. Cloete.
— Geoffrey York (@geoffreyyork) December 22, 2020
Healthcare workers to ditch PPE brand
The research was published earlier this month, and on Tuesday, Dr. Cloete acknowledged the findings during a virtual meeting with Premier Alan Winde. The UCT paper reveals that the KN95 masks failed the ‘seal check pass tests’, and fell way short of meeting acceptable filtration requirements.
“KN95 masks (The Chinese equivalent of the N95 and FFP2) were imported and distributed in South Africa. However, there were hardly any published independent safety data on this. We now know the seal check pass rate was significantly lower in the KN95 brand, and 50% of the tested batch passed the minimum filtration requirements.”
“The KN95 masks tested failed the stipulated safety thresholds associated with the protection of healthcare workers against airborne pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2. These preliminary data have implications for the regulation of masks and their distribution to healthcare workers and facilities in SA.”
UCT study in the SA Medical Journal