12th Jul, 2020

County's Muslims donate 10,000 face masks to life-saving NHS staff at the Worcestershire Royal

Rob George 7th May, 2020

LIFE-SAVING nurses and staff at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital have been boosted in the fight against Coronavirus with a donation of 10,000 face masks from trustees of the city’s Muslim cemetery.

Mayor of Worcester Coun Allah Ditta and fellow trustees were on hand to deliver the vital equipment to hospital chiefs on Tuesday as the fight to tackle COVID-19 continues.

The donation will ensure continued protection for NHS staff on the frontline with medically approved equipment which can be used immediately.

Speaking to the Observer, Coun Ditta said the masks had cost around £4,500 but lavished praise on NHS for its care both before and during the current crisis.

“We all need the NHS at some point in our lives. Sadly many more of us need its services, care and compassion at the moment,” Coun Ditta said.

Alongside his duties one of three councillors for the Cathedral ward and his current year as Worcester’s first citizen, Coun Ditta is part of the trustees who run the cemetery on John Comyn Drive.

“I’ve had nothing but excellent support and help from the hospital when I have registered deaths in the community, so I thought it was about time we gave something back to those heroes,” he said.

“I hope it might spark into actions other members of the wider Worcester community into making a donation. We all use the NHS and we need to support it at its hour of greatest need.”

The donation has been made during Ramadan which sees Muslims in Worcester and across the world observe a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community.

“It’s a month of giving for Muslims – you must give something back to your community. Donating in such a way to our NHS has made this month particularly poignant for me,” Coun Ditta said.

“Coronavirus has been devastating for us all and it’s caused so much heartache in Asian communities because we often have extended families living together or close together which means the risk of infection being passed is so much higher.

“But no matter your religion, I hope we can all use these difficult and trying times to come together and ensure we think of everyone around us and come out stronger, healthier and with stronger communities.”

The donation is likely to be among Coun Ditta’s last acts as Mayor of Worcester and the long-serving councillor said he was devastated how the lockdown had curtailed the fund-raising for his chosen causes.

  •  Trust chiefs confirmed a further two people had died from Coronavirus at its hospitals on Tuesday, meaning 211 county patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 have now passed away.

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