The Centers for Disease Control is looking to purchase body bags and a host of other personal protective equipment in response to the Ebola outbreak as concerns continue to linger about the spread of the virus.
A “sources sought” notice posted on FedBizOpps reveals that, “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Procurement and Grants Office (PGO) is seeking multiple sources of supply for personal protective equipment (PPE) for potential use in the current Ebola Virus Disease outbreak response.”
According to an attachment entitled “List of Personal Protective Equipment for Sources Sought Notice,” the federal agency is looking to source suppliers of body bags that can hold 200-250 lbs of weight. The bags must also include, “At least 6 handholds included in the body bag to allow burial team to hand carry it safely.”
The advisory states that the body bags and other equipment are intended to be used both in West Africa and in response to other Ebola outbreaks worldwide.
The CDC is also looking to source surgical face masks, sterile gowns, infectious waste containers, and tarps amongst other PPE supplies. The notice does not specify the quantity of body bags that the CDC is looking to obtain.
In September, the State Department ordered 5,000 body bags to be sent to West Africa. The Ebola outbreak has infected over 13,700 people worldwide, with over 4900 fatalities.
Earlier this month, the CDC instructed funeral homes in the United States to bury Ebola victims in hermetically sealed caskets which must be secure “against the escape of microorganisms” and have valid documentation for being airtight. Last month, the CDC also issued a three page list of recommendations which warned funeral home workers not to carry out autopsies or to embalm corpses.
As we reported yesterday, the U.S. government ordered 250,000 Hazmat suits to be sent to Dallas, location of the first Ebola case in the United States. One company alone has sold over a million Hazmat suits to government agencies worldwide since August.
In an op-ed for Forbes published yesterday, former FDA official Scott Gottlieb M.D. warned that larger and more frequent Ebola outbreaks will inevitably hit American cities in the near future and that the imminent onset of the flu season will make it harder to keep tabs on potential Ebola victims in the United States.