St Andrews alumni donate face masks for COVID-19 frontline

Former students of the University of St Andrews in China have donated 11,000 face masks to the University to help protect Scottish health workers on the COVID-19 frontline.

The donation comes after St Andrews colleagues reached out to Chinese alumni in the New Year during the Wuhan outbreak with messages of support and solidarity. This act of kindness was then reciprocated some weeks later in mid-March when St Andrews alumni across China donated money to buy equipment to fight the pandemic in Scotland.

St Andrews graduate Du Peng, Director International Cooperation at HIT Robot Group, said:

“We are all aware of the recent situation, the coronavirus is spreading quickly in the UK and EU. As a Chinese (citizen) I have been through the recent national wide quarantine in China, and as a member of St Andrews alumni, I care about the students and staff at the University.

“St Andrews China Alumni proposed to all alumni around China to help our university, our town, to get through this tough time.”

The offer of help from St Andrews alumni in China includes face masks, testing kits, infrared thermography equipment and expert advice from former students who fought COVID-19 in China. An initial shipment of 11,000 face masks from the HIT Robot Group arrived at the University Medical School this week.

Some 4,500 masks have gone to NHS Fife; 4,500 to NHS Tayside; and 1000 to the Fife Council Health and Social Care Carers’ network. The University has held 1000 masks for staff engaged in research and support work.

St Andrews Principal Professor Sally Mapstone said:

“We are so very grateful that our alumni from China are thinking of our students and staff in St Andrews, and we very much appreciate their generosity and support in this challenging time.

“St Andrews is a global community and the solidarity and concern shown by our family in China for the place that was once their home is truly touching.”