More than 500 volunteers help produce PPE for frontliners

One of the face shields produced by the volunteers.

KUCHING, April 20: About 500 Sarawakians across the state have banded together to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare frontliners in battling Covid-19.

According to a community movement called #JagaSamaDirik, the volunteers are doing their part by fabricating 3D printed disposable face shields, head cover, boot cover and coveralls for the frontliners especially healthcare workers treating Covid-19 patients.

The volunteers use everyday technology such as 3D design software, 3D printers, laser cutters, fabrics, sewing machines, as well as glue and tapes to produce the PPE.

“We continuously develop reusable PPE and develop emergency, last resort, medical equipment. The PPE are then distributed to all requesting

Covid-19 facilities such as government hospitals, screening centres and clinics,” said Hazwan Razak, a reprensentative of #JagaSamaDirik, in a statement.

The #JagaSamaDirik is a grassroots movement that grew out of a selfless desire to help the frontliners and the community, made up of tech and maker communities across Sarawak.

It has grown to include many organisations, startups, universities and individuals, all with the same purpose of wanting to make a positive difference, he added.

“We applaud the efforts of these communities, especially their passion to serve, and ingenuity in using digital technology to better coordinate and make a bigger impact in supporting our frontliners and our fellow Sarawakians,” he continued.

The movement said that approximately 15,000 PPE were being utilised and disposed every day at the Sarawak General Hospital and other Covid-19 designated treatment facilities.

This includes face shields, N95 masks, gloves, head covers, shoe covers, and coveralls, which constantly need replenishing.

Hence, Sarawakians all over have answered the call of urgency to counter the shortage of PPE, said Hazwan.

To date, #JagaSamaDirik has produced and delivered more than 30,000 PPE.

It added the production of more PPE is still up and running to fulfil the shortages to ensure that healthcare frontliners are protected, while performing the treatment and screening the Covid-19 patients.

The food items which are being displayed at the drop-off location at SMA Creative Heritage Innovation Centre in Kuching.

On a another #JagaSamaDirik said it has also kickstart a food donation collection and distribution for the poor and unfortunate families.

It encouraged the public to donate dry foods such as rice, cooking oil, biscuits, instant noodles, infant or toddler milk, canned food, diapers, salt and sugar.

“The movement control order (MCO) has taken away the source of income of many families, for instance the street vendors, contract workers, small-time sellers and those who do not qualify for government subsidies and have lost their means to put food on the table.

“The food donations are packed as care packages and delivered by the respective local volunteers to families in need.”

The #JagaSamaDirik movement is temporarily headquartered at SMA Creative Heritage Innovation Centre in Kuching and other designated spaces in Sibu, Bintulu and Miri.

It encouraged the public to send their donations in the form of food or PPE to their nearest centre between 9am and 3pm daily.

All request for food aid and raw materials for PPE can be made through the #JagaSamaDirik website at — DayakDaily