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Government urges caution over buying PPE online

Senior Government official Liz Canavan said some of the PPE may not be suitable in a healthcare setting.

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The Government has issued a warning over buying personal protective equipment (Peter Byrne/PA)

The Government has issued a warning over buying personal protective equipment (Peter Byrne/PA)

The Government has issued a warning over buying personal protective equipment (Peter Byrne/PA)

The Government has issued a warning over buying personal protective equipment (PPE) online following concerns some of the products are not the required standard.

At a Government press briefing on Monday, senior civil servant Liz Canavan said some traders are claiming their PPE products have been donated to hospitals and other healthcare providers.

Ms Canavan said: “The Consumer Protection Commission is advising consumers to be conscious of donation claims being made by traders when shopping for personal protective equipment online such as face masks and hand sanitiser.

“Some online traders appear to be warning consumers that the personal protective equipment they are selling has been donated to hospitals and other healthcare providers.

“In many cases it is unclear as to whether these products are suitable for use in healthcare settings and should not be considered as an indication of suitability of standards.

“In particular, if a consumer is considering buying hand sanitiser products, you can check out the Department of Agriculture for authorised products. ”

The Government has said hardware shops should not be open to the public during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ms Canavan said: “We want to clear up confusion which has arisen in relation to hardware stores. Under current restrictions hardware stores should not be open to the general public. They are only open for emergencies and deliveries as set out in the updated retail services list as set out on www.gov.ie.”

It was also confirmed more than half a million people have claimed the 350 euro weekly pandemic unemployment payment.

Some 584,000 people have claimed the payment – an increase of more than 50,000 people compared with this time last week.

These payments are in addition to the 212,000 people on the Live Register.

More than 46,000 employers have now registered with the Revenue Commissioners for the Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy scheme.

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty said: “Between our Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, those on the Live Register and workers who are benefiting from the wage subsidy scheme, over a million people are receiving some sort of state income support – a situation unparalleled in our nation’s history.

“This is a temporary health emergency and many sectors of the economy will be able to switch back on relatively quickly once the danger has passed.”

PA