University of Salford coronavirus

The University of Salford has “acted swiftly and with great generosity” after they donated specialist equipment that will help the government to run tens of thousands of coronavirus tests per day

Staff at the University handed over a much-needed testing machine to armed forces personnel who transferred the kit to a company tasked by the government with upping the number of COVID-19 tests that can be carried out.

The equipment can detect as little as one virus particle in swabs taken from inside the mouth or nose.

Professor Sheila Pankhurst, Dean of the School of Science, Engineering and Environment, said: “I am so proud of the way in which university staff have stepped up to support our NHS at this vital time.

“As a civic university, we are committed to supporting our community and local partners at all times, but never more so than now as part of this national effort to combat coronavirus.”

This ‘ABI 7500 machine’ is normally used by the University of Salford researchers looking into lung inflammatory and fibrotic diseases.

The University of Salford also donated personal protective equipment (PPE) to Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust so they can operate safely with coronavirus sufferers.

Biomedical science staff returned to campus following its closure to collect the much-needed equipment and deliver it to the local hospital.

This PPE donated included around 37,000 pairs of disposable gloves, over 500 lab coats, 100 pairs of safety glasses and 10 full bodysuits, as well as a supply of hand sanitiser after widespread reports of kit shortages in the NHS.

The University’s Maker Space, a state-of-the-art engineering and digital fabrication facility, has also developed a visor the frontline workers can wear when they’re working with covid-19 cases.

The visor, which is now being tested by Salford Royal, is aiming to be 90 per cent sterilisable and will go into production this week.

It is hoped that production can be scaled to produce 75 visors a day, with these products being donated to Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust.

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