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Achieving Universal Wearing of Face Masks During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Practical Solution from Shanghai, China

Authors Zhang T, Wang Q, Shi W, Sheng T, Liu J, Zhao J, Huang Y, Xia Y, Liu Z, Dai R, Bao Z, Wu P, Xu S, Luo L

Received 22 September 2020

Accepted for publication 17 November 2020

Published 21 December 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 3067—3077

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/RMHP.S280672

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Marco Carotenuto


Tiantian Zhang,1,* Qian Wang,1,* Wenming Shi,1 Tao Sheng,2 Jiaxing Liu,3 Jiejin Zhao,4 Yuanmin Huang,3 Yutian Xia,3 Zhanyi Liu,5 Ruiming Dai,1 Zhenyu Bao,2 Ping Wu,1 Site Xu,1 Li Luo1,6

1School of Public Health, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, People’s Republic of China; 2School of Computer Science and Technology, Fudan University, Shanghai 201203, People’s Republic of China; 3School of Software, Fudan University, Shanghai 201203, People’s Republic of China; 4Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce, Shanghai 200125, People’s Republic of China; 5Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau, Shanghai 200125, People’s Republic of China; 6Key Laboratory of Public Health Safety of the Ministry of Education and Key Laboratory of Health Technology Assessment of the Ministry of Health, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Li Luo
Fudan University, 130 Dong’an Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
Email [email protected]

Background: Face masks are basic protective equipment for preventing respiratory infectious diseases. The measures to properly dispose of and allocate face masks during the early stage of an epidemic caused by respiratory infectious diseases deserve worldwide attention.
Methods: A qualitative research approach was used to document the practice of a citywide face mask–wearing strategy of the Shanghai Municipal Government (called the “Shanghai solution” in this article). Based on data from government work documents, an online face mask–allocation and sales system was built to offer real-time updates of face-mask appointments and sales information in all designated pharmacies and neighborhood committees in Shanghai.
Results: In the Shanghai solution, a total of 24.8 million residents in 6,031 committees were covered, in order to achieve universal wearing of face masks during the COVID-19 crisis. Up to 110 million face masks were dispensed to residents in six rounds of face-mask allocation during February to April. This practical experience in Shanghai solved two key problems (insufficient face-mask capacity, protection of vulnerable population) with the supply of face masks by addressing four essential characteristics: overall coordination, on-demand distribution, efficient distribution, and technical support.
Conclusion: The practice of the citywide face mask–supply strategy of Shanghai could provide several pointers for management of a shortage of emergency materials, dispatch, and transport to other countries during the pandemic.

Keywords: face mask, COVID-19, public health emergency, respiratory infections, China

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