This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily on March 31, 2020
KUALA LUMPUR: The Edge Covid-19 Equipment Fund has started sending a million face masks and 35,000 personal protection suits to more than 30 designated hospitals — just one week after the fund was launched to raise money from Corporate Malaysia.
Ventilators and other breathing equipment will be delivered soon, said The Edge Media Group publisher and group chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Ho Kay Tat.
“We raised money very quickly, thanks to the great support of businesses and individuals after we announced the initiative a week ago,” said Ho.
“While we were raising money, we were at the same time placing orders, which is why we could get the masks and protection suits so fast.”
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyddin Yassin yesterday was shown samples of the protection suits, masks, ventilators and oxygen concentrators that the fund bought to help our frontline health workers deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Also present were Senior Minister for Defence Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, The Edge Media Group chairman Datuk Tong Kooi Ong, project medical adviser Datuk Dr Tamil Selvam and Adrian Ong, managing director of MR DIY — the project’s logistics partner.
To date, The Edge Covid-19 Equipment Fund has raised RM12.21 million, while The Edge Covid-19 Health Care Workers Support Fund has received RM8.9 million for a total of RM21.11 million.
Ho said the masks and protection suits will be delivered over the next one week to over 30 hospitals, including those in Sabah and Sarawak, by logistics partner MR DIY.
Ismail Sabri said the Royal Malaysian Air Force can help deliver to East Malaysia, given many commercial flights have been cancelled.
Non-governmental organisations Mercy Malaysia, the Malaysian Relief Agency and the Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia are also helping in the distribution.
“Our medical adviser Dr Tamil Selvam has worked tirelessly to source the equipment and plan the allocation and distribution with MR DIY,” said Ho.
“I would also like to thank Heal Mediware Sdn Bhd and Insan Bakti Sdn Bhd for helping to get us ventilators, now so hard to come by.”
Orders have been placed for 140 ventilators and 100 oxygen concentrators. Both are breathing equipment to help patients with different levels of respiratory problems. They should be available for distribution in stages over the next few weeks.
Ho said the fund will continue sourcing and buying medical equipment as long as it has money.
“The intention is to not keep money that has been donated, but use them quickly to buy what is needed, before supply runs out. Our hospitals and healthcare workers are overstretched as the pandemic is spreading fast.”
Other partners of The Edge for this project are auditor KPMG Malaysia and information technology systems provider Rexit Bhd.
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