Scottish businesses help secure vital COVID-19 supplies

Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon

THE First Minister has praised those manufacturers and businesses which have stepped in to support frontline services by diversifying production lines, increasing capacity and exploring new distribution routes during the coronavirus pandemic.

So far more than 1,600 businesses and individuals have come forward to support the national response.

Leading chemicals company CalaChem has already produced 20,000 litres of hand sanitiser, using alcohol supplied by distillers Whyte and Mackay, with an order in place for a further 560,000 litres over the next four weeks.

Stonehaven manufacturing firm Macphie has started bottling the product and will deliver the initial order into the national supply chain from this week.

Meanwhile Annan-based PPE manufacturers Alpha Solway are currently producing 20,000 face visors per day for the NHS, to fulfil an order of 1.1 million visors.

Further PPE and NHS supplies also arrived at Prestwick Airport on Friday and the cargo included around 11 million face masks, with one million of these for NHS Wales, and 100,000 testing kits for NHS Scotland.

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said:  “Scotland’s health and social care system is facing unprecedented demand, so it’s tremendous to see so many step up to support the national response to COVID-19 and I thank them all for their efforts to deliver what is needed, when it is needed.

“The last few weeks have shown how adaptable and responsive we can be in these challenging times. We have received more than 1,600 offers of support from businesses and individuals, many of them offering to diversify their production lines to support the national response. From these we have been able to secure vital equipment at volume to tackle key manufacturing challenges. 

“Protecting staff working on the frontline is an absolute priority and we will continue to do all we can to make health and social care staff feel as safe as possible in their workplace.”

Steve Dunlop, Scottish Enterprise chief executive, said:  “The pace and agility of Scotland’s business community has been phenomenal.

“In a short space of time, together we’ve been able to not only source and import supplies in a competitive international market, but also pivot our domestic supply chain and scale up manufacturing here in Scotland to meet the critical needs of the NHS and frontline workers. 

“We and our partners continue to assess the evolving picture and ensure Scottish businesses can help build resilience right across the supply chain.”

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