Australia is trying to source locally-made face masks and gowns as the coronavirus outbreak depletes global supply chains.
The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources issued a request for information on Monday in order to map domestic production capability of medical personal protective equipment.
Equipment sought includes surgical face masks, gowns and gloves, surgical goggles and eyewear, and mask fit test kits.
It also includes clinical waste bags and ties, blood and fluid spill kits, and thermometers.
The deadline for companies to respond is Wednesday.
Industry Minister Karen Andrews said the federal government was also working with local industry to increase domestic production of equipment like surgical face masks.
"This includes buying new equipment and providing staff to enable companies to ramp up production and boost our domestic capacity," Ms Andrews said.
It comes as concern grows over global supply chains for PPE as countries grapple with the spread of COVID-19.
Canberra GPs have reported shortages in personal protective equipment. Australian Medical Association ACT president Antonio Di Dio said on Monday his practice had enough gear to get through the next few days of testing. Capital Health was working to get more PPE distributed across Canberra, Dr Di Dio said.
Meanwhile Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy last week wrote to medical professionals across the country warning them of "extreme pressure" on PPE stocks.
The World Health Organisation warned two weeks ago that severe and mounting disruption to the supply of personal protective equipment worldwide - due to increasing demand, panic buying and hoarding - was putting lives in danger.
It estimated 89 million medical masks were required each month to deal with the virus. It predicted 76 million pairs of gloves were needed, and 1.6 million sets of goggles each month.
But since the outbreak began, surgical masks have seen a sixfold price increase, N95 respirators have trebled and gowns have doubled.
The World Health Organisation said market manipulation was "widespread", with stocks frequently sold to the highest bidder.
"To meet rising global demand, WHO estimates that industry must increase manufacturing by 40 per cent," it said.
"Governments should develop incentives for industry to ramp up production. This includes easing restrictions on the export and distribution of personal protective equipment and other medical supplies."
The Morrison government last week announced $1.1 billion of its $2.4 billion health package would be spent ensuring patients and critical health care staff had protective equipment such as masks, surgical gowns, goggles and hand sanitiser.
That money would also go to stockpiling antibiotics and antivirals, so patients with secondary infections could be be treated quickly.
The Health Department also spent around $150,000 urgently buying up thermometers at the start of the outbreak, just in case they had to be deployed for mass border checks.
It comes as Australia tightens its criteria for testing due to test kit shortages.
"The situation regarding pathology test kits, reagents and swabs is deteriorating rapidly, with kits no longer being available in some regions of the country," Professor Murphy told medical professionals on Friday.
"Pathology collection centres have also experienced large backlogs in testing appointments in some parts of Australia, and emergency testing facilities have had to be established in some areas to ensure that urgent patients can get access to testing."
GPs can only order a test if patients have been overseas in the 14 days before symptoms emerged or were in contact with a confirmed coronavirus case.
Frontline medical staff with acute respiratory symptoms and a fever will also be tested, regardless of whether they have travelled internationally.
Patients who have been hospitalised with pneumonia where no cause has been identified will also be tested.
Dr Di Dio said it was appropriate for testing to be triaged in this way, as there was not an unlimited supply of kits or PPE.
"That will cause stress and anxiety and by its very nature some people declined a test may well test positive eventually ... but we need to come together as a society for the collective good," Dr Di Dio said.
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