A DONATION of 11,000 face masks has been sent from China by former St Andrews students to protect health workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

Chinese alumni donated to help ship the personal protective equipment (PPE) to the university, with the masks being distributed to health boards and care workers across Scotland.

When the Covid-19 outbreak struck Wuhan and spread to other Chinese cities, the University of St Andrews alumni network reached out with messages of concern and support.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Dundee University sends vital PPE to key workers

With lockdown measures starting to ease in parts of China, alumni reciprocated by organising the delivery of emergency PPE, as well as further offers of testing equipment and advice from experts who have been dealing with the disease.

St Andrews graduate Du Peng, the director of international co-operation at HIT Robot Group that sent the masks, said: "As a Chinese [citizen], I have been through the recent nationwide 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."

An initial shipment of 11,000 face masks from the HIT Robot Group arrived at the University Medical School this week.

The university said that 4500 masks have been given to NHS Fife; 4500 to NHS Tayside; and 1000 to the Fife Council Health and Social Care Carers' network.

Another 1000 masks are being held by the university for research staff and those supporting the coronavirus response.

Principal and vice chancellor at St Andrews 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."

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