Coronavirus: Dubai's demand for PPE surges amid COVID-19

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The number of companies selling personal protective equipment in Dubai during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has skyrocketed on Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s online marketplace, UAE state news agency WAM reported.

The online marketplace has seen a 340 percent surge since its launch earlier this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

The coronavirus has led to a surge in demand for masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment by medical professionals and ordinary people as many countries have mandated masks must be worn in public.

There are currently 66 companies registered on the Rapid Response Initiative (RRI), up from 15 companies in July, WAM reported. RRI is a free-to-use platform that connects UAE companies and healthcare providers with PPE suppliers.

China has been the largest exporter of medical supplies to the UAE, according to new analysis by the Chamber of Commerce.

“According to the data, the value of China’s exports of COVID-19 medical supplies to the UAE reached $623.7 million during the March and June 2020 period, marking a year-over-year surge of 357 percent,” WAM reported.

The RRI’s exponential growth reflects the rising demand for PPE in the UAE as well as the “digital solutions and services that cater to the changing needs of business in the country,” Dr. Belaid Rettab, Senior Director, Economic Research and Sustainable Business Development Sector at Dubai Chamber of Commerce.

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