Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has launched an urgent call for donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline key workers during the coronavirus crisis as stocks drop "dangerously" low.
Workers from councils, the police, the fire service and public transport firms are continuing to work across the region but metro mayor Rotheram says they are struggling to obtain things like masks and gloves to protect themselves from the virus.
The move follows concern in recent weeks about the amount of PPE available to healthcare workers dealing with coronavirus patients in hospital.
Supplies are set to arrive from central government but there is concern that demand is such that they may not keep up with need in the coming weeks.
Metro mayor Rotheram said the combined authority's move was necessary as stocks of some equipment were dangerously low.
He said: “Our key workers in local authorities, the fire and police services and public transport are on the frontline in tackling coronavirus, often supporting the most vulnerable people in our communities.
“We have a responsibility to protect these staff, and the vulnerable people they support, with the right PPE, but this is now in dangerously short supply across the region as demand continues to out-strip supply.
“That is why we are taking this unprecedented step to ask businesses and community organisations if they can help with any supplies of PPE – either by donating any supplies they can spare or on a commercial basis.
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“I applaud colleagues from across the city region who have been working tirelessly over recent days to secure these vital supplies and I know they, and frontline workers, will be incredibly grateful to any business or community organisation that can offer their help.”
He has formally issued the call via the combined authority's Growth Platform, which has contacted 10,000 businesses and community organisations.
Mark Basnett, managing director of Growth Platform said: “We know that many of our businesses are doing everything they can to help, while they are themselves experiencing unprecedented challenges due to the coronavirus crisis.
“The hope is that those that can will be able to help with PPE supplies to support frontline workers at this time.”
The equipment needed is:
- Hand sanitiser (at least 70 per cent alcohol based)
- Disposable gloves
- Disposable aprons
- Protective face masks
- Protective eye goggles
- Protective gowns
- Clinical waste bags