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Safety fears over 600,000 face masks worn by doctors, nurses

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

South Australia is waiting on advice from the Commonwealth on the safety of a batch of masks earmarked for use by frontline health staff treating coronavirus patients.

South Australia is waiting on advice from the Commonwealth on the safety of a batch of masks earmarked for use by frontline health staff treating coronavirus patients.

SA Health withdrew more than 600,000 of the N95 facemasks this week amid concerns over their performance when splashed with liquids.

They were first distributed across SA public hospitals on Saturday but were pulled after concerns were raised by staff and after an independent assessment was conducted.

Whether or not the masks which came from the national stockpile are used in the future will depend on advice from federal health officials.

"Taking extreme caution in terms of the welfare of our staff, we have removed these masks from all of the hospitals in the state, pending further advice and clarification from the commonwealth," SA's Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Mike Cusack said.

"These clearly are masks that are in use across the nation."

Dr Cusack said South Australia still had sufficient protective equipment and would be in a position to produce its own in coming weeks with the establishment of a local manufacturing facility.

Concerns over the masks came as SA confirmed just one new virus case yesterday, taking the state's total to 434.

Ten people remain in hospital with two in intensive care. One of those is listed as critical.

SA Health says 308 people have now recovered from their infections or about 70 per cent of all cases.

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You can also get up-to-date information from the Federal Government's Coronavirus Australia app, available on the App StoreGoogle Play and the Government's WhatsApp channel.

- Reported with AAP

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/half-a-million-face-masks-withdrawn-in-south-australia-safety-concern/6d9c5f04-0e1a-4fb7-af91-3a6532e5b891

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