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    18 June 2020

    UNODC Laboratory and Scientific Services launches instructional videos on using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in response to COVID-19

    VIENNA, 18 June (United Nations Information Service) - As part of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime's (UNODC) "Protecting Those That Protect Us" initiative in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Laboratory and Scientific Services (LSS) has published a series of seven instructional videos on the proper use, removal and disposal of personal protective equipment (PPE) to support front-line law enforcement, forensic, border control and customs officers in the safe handling of dangerous substances.

    "We have seen with the COVID-19 crisis that science- and evidence-based approaches are absolutely essential for protecting human health and development, and the UNODC Lab is supporting such responses," said UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly.  "The potential for law enforcement and customs officers to be exposed to COVID-19 is significant due to the nature of their work, and the proper use of PPE is crucial. With this global initiative UNODC is helping to protect frontline officers so they can continue their challenging duties and keep us safe from drugs, crime and terrorism."

    The "Protecting Those That Protect Us" initiative stems from the LSS Global Forensic Science and Services Programme and the LSS-coordinated UNODC Opioid Strategy. Through these programmes, LSS disseminates practical tools and solutions via UNODC's expansive global law enforcement, forensic and field office networks.

    The instructional videos are part of a series of technical guidelines and training materials on safe handling, a key component of the LSS comprehensive package of ongoing support for front-line officers which also includes capacity-building via online and face-face training and the provision of UNODC branded tailored PPE and drug testing kits.  In addition to the instructional videos, LSS has also published a step-by-step practical guide on safe handling and managing the risk of exposure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Director of UNODC's Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs Jean-Luc Lemahieu said: "The proper use of personal protective equipment and an awareness of safety and risk mitigation procedures are of course fundamental at any time, but they are even more crucial now due to the unprecedented risks posed by the pandemic. We have developed these videos and to give them the confidence to carry out their essential and often dangerous duties in a secure manner."

    The seven videos, released during May and June, cover the following aspects of using PPE:

    1.         Correct use and removal of an N95 particulate mask 

    2.         Correct use and removal of nitrile gloves

    3.         Correct use and removal of double gloves

    4.         Correct use of eye protection with an N95 particulate mask 

    5.         Correct use and removal of a full-face Air Purifying Respirator (APR)

    6.         Correct use and removal of a full particulate tight PPE ensemble

    7.         Correct use and removal of a full chemical resistant PPE ensemble

    Further in-depth training on the proper use, safe handling and disposal of PPE will be delivered on-site as soon as COVID-19 related measures allow so that beneficiary communities can continue to execute their duties confidently and safely.

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    For further information please contact:
    UNODC Laboratory and Scientific Services (LSS)
    Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-4304