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8 April, 2020 - 13:15 By Kate Sweeney

Cambridge team seeks £5m to bring life-saving PPE from China

Two doctors and University of Cambridge Professors from the Wellcome Trust MRC-Institute of Metabolic Science, Toni Vidal-Puig and Sadaf Farooqi, are heading a bid to raise an initial £5 million to bring life-saving PPE from China.

They are seeking donations to the Cambridge China COVID-19 Collaboration (4C) Appeal to ensure that high-grade Personal Protective Equipment is available for health and social care professionals caring for patients with COVID-19 in Cambridge and the East of England. 

The 4C PPE endeavour is an official part of the University of Cambridge COVID-19 appeal. You can see more on the University’s Philanthropy webpage: philanthropy.cam.ac.uk/

The doctors said: “Our aim is to guarantee the safety and protection of our staff on the frontline so they can focus entirely on what they do best – caring for patients. 

“This is an urgent problem. In the UK, the peak of the epidemic is expected within two weeks and the number of cases will remain high over the next 3-4 months.”

A team of University of Cambridge engineers, biomedical scientists and clinicians are working with suppliers and manufacturers in the UK and with their counterparts in Nanjing, China, to ensure we get the right high quality PPE for NHS staff. Chinese entrepreneurs with links to Cambridge have already committed to providing air-freight at cost.

The doctors added: “These are challenging times globally. There is tremendous competition for high-grade masks in particular, with demand far outstripping supply. Liquidity is needed to pay suppliers upfront to secure the supplies we need.” 

It appears that the £5m, being sought may only be the start of the effort. The team explains that £150 only buys enough FFP3 respirator masks to care for one patient in Intensive Care for one day: £1,000 buys 100 pairs of scrubs for staff to wear when working with patients with COVID-19. 

The team will also purchase surgical gowns, eye protection and visors. You can donate through the Just Giving campaign. For more details Email:
info [at] 4cppe.com

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