The average age of study participants was 35.8 years and 68.1% (286/420) were female. These study participants worked an average of 4 to 6 hours per day, an average of 5.4 days per week; they worked an average of 16.2 hours per week in intensive care units. The 420 study participants had direct contact with covid-19 patients and performed at least one aerosol generation (AGP) procedure. During the deployment period at Wuhan, none of the study participants reported any symptoms related to covid-19. When the participants returned home, they all tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 specific nucleic acids and IgM or IgG antibodies (95% confidence interval 0.0 to 0.7%).
Despite the high risk of exposure, study participants were adequately protected and did not develop an infection or protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2. Health care systems should prioritize the purchase and distribution of personal protective equipment and provide adequate training to health care professionals on its use.
Strength of evidence Moderate
Assessing the protective effects of personal protective equipment for healthcare professionals who have provided care to coronavirus patients in 2019
The study involved 420 health professionals (116 doctors and 304 nurses) who were deployed to Wuhan by two affiliated hospitals of Sun Yat-sen University and Nanfang Hospital of Southern Medical University for 6-8 weeks from January 24 to April 7, 2020. Study participants were provided with appropriate personal protective equipment to provide care to patients with covid-19 and admitted to hospital. 77 health care professionals with no history of exposure to covid-19 and 80 patients who had recovered from covid-19 were recruited to verify the accuracy of the serological tests used to determine whether or not a candidate was ill during the exposure period.