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Cllr Nigel Porter secures free face masks to be given away from local supplier

June 7, 2020 5:51 PM
By Leicester Liberal Democrats
Nigel Porter

Cllr Nigel Porter of Aylestone Ward who secured 2000 free face masks.

Last week we reported Cllr Nigel Porter of Aylestone Ward called for every Leicester resident to be issued with a free face mask during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was supported on a Leicestershire Live poll of 81% at the time of writing.

This week Councillor Porter secured a donation of 2000 masks for free distribution in an effort to stop the coronavirus, through shops in Aylestone. The masks being made available follows the Government saying it would be mandatory for them to be worn by people travelling on public transport.

Packs of 4 masks are available at Jhoots Pharmacy on Aylestone Road and DeeBee FoodStores in Eastwood Road, whilst stocks last.

The masks were donated by Leicester firm Unimed Procurement after its owner Shameet Thakkar read a Leicestershire Live story about Councillor Porter calling on the city council to give a free mask to every Leicester citizen who wants one.

Cllr Porter has said to the Leicester Mercury "I'm very grateful to Shameet and to the businesses who have agreed to distribute them for free. I have seen in places masks are being sold for a pound each. That's expensive so making them available for free will really help people on lower incomes.

Its important to have supplies available to people especially after the government announced they will be mandatory on public transport. Of course they don't guarantee 100% protection and it is important that people keep doing the other stuff like washing their hands and social distancing."

Mr Thakkar speaking to the Leicester Mercury said "I saw Nigel's suggestion of face masks for everyone and I thought I could help. I'm from Leicester and wanted to give something back to my community so I made some boxes available. These masks are 95% bacterial filtration - they are the kind that front-line medics would wear in a non-surgical situation such as they are triaging a patient. They will help prevent the spread of the virus but people need to take all the other steps the Government has set out too."

Leicester City Council said there were issues with offering face masks to every person in Leicester because it might divert the supply from where they were needed in hospitals and care homes.

Mr Thakkar commented "there was an issue a while back with supply but now the market is flooded. We can get them to where they are needed."