An online crowdfunding campaign has been launched to raise funds which will buy personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical teams across Scotland.
The Masks for Scotland crowdfunder will use 100% of money raised to help staff working on the frontline to tackle the coronavirus pandemic such as intensive care units, GPs, community nurses and ambulance staff.
Scottish actors Alan Cumming and Joanna Vanderham have made videos on the site encouraging others to donate with £15 buying a gown, a mask and visor and £100 “protects six medical staff a day”.
Billionaire and Stagecoach Group co-founder Dame Ann Gloag is also among those who have made early donations to the appeal.
She said: “As a former NHS nurse, I can 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.”
Professor Jill Belch, based at the University of Dundee, brought together the appeal.
She said: “We think the peak will hit in two-three weeks and, with a ten-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.
“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.
“Twenty-three per cent of coronavirus patients in Italy were medical staff and already UK doctors and nurses are dying.”
Social media accounts have been set up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to also help raise awareness of the campaign and the issue.
Prof Belch added: “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.
“Three approved suppliers have been sourced in China and the Chinese Community of Dundee have organised the import of the PPE.
“We hope sufficient funds will be obtained to satisfy the needs of all community health workers across Scotland.”