A Dundee University professor has launched a celeb-backed appeal to buy Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline staff.
The campaign, Masks for Scotland, is spearheaded by Professor Jill Belch, who warned time was running out to ensure medics have essential kit when coronavirus peaks.
All of the cash donated will provide PPE, such as masks, to those working on the front lines of the battle against coronavirus, such as doctors, nurses, care workers and ambulance staff.
Backers include billionaire businesswoman Ann Gloag, and Scottish acting stars Alan Cumming, Brian Cox and Joanna Vanderham, who recorded videos for the appeal.
Professor Belch said: “We think the peak will hit in two-to-three weeks and, with a 10-day run-in period to send the equipment, time is very, very short.
“We are asking people to give now, today, so we can buy the equipment at the beginning of next week and get the equipment here to Scotland as soon as logistically possible.
“The coronavirus epidemic is reaching its peak. We need those who will look after us, to be fit and well, and to be protected so they don’t spread the virus to patients, staff and their own families.”
She urged those who are clapping for the NHS staff to donate £15, which is enough to buy a “life-saving” pack.
Three approved suppliers have been sourced in China and the Chinese Community of Dundee have organised the import of the PPE.
Professor Belch said: “We all know the dreadful attrition rate of medical staff in Italy, where over 100 doctors and many nurses and other health professionals have died. 23% of coronavirus patients in Italy were medical staff, and already UK doctors and nurses are dying.”
“We know the severity of the illness corresponds to the viral load, and our medical teams are exposed to the sickest of patients, when they are very infectious.”
“Our medical teams deserve to be protected when they are bravely working in the frontline this awful pandemic.
“The NHS is bringing equipment in as quickly as it can, and this appeal will help more arrive in time.”
Billionaire Dame Ann Gloag, who has already made an early donation, said as a former NHS nurse, she could “only imagine the horror of trying to do your job without the proper protective equipment during this pandemic.”
“If anyone can help, I urge them to do so as these are unprecedented times for our NHS,” she said.