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Coronavirus Kent: Dr Salaj Masand of Ashford's William Harvey Hospital raises over £1 million for PPE with James McAvoy's help

An Ashford doctor has raised more than a million pounds to get frontline NHS workers vital protective gear as they continue to battle the deadly coronavirus.

Dr Salaj Masand, who works in General Adult Medicine at the William Harvey Hospital, helped set up a crowdfunding campaign aimed at curbing the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) being experienced across the NHS.

KMTV report on the campaign

Many nurses and doctors aren't always able to get the equipment they need to protect themselves, with demand only expected to increase.

Although he says the government are doing everything they can, Dr Masand is worried a global shortage of kit will put workers at risk.

Now, he and three others have formed a group - entitled 'Masks for NHS Heroes - that hoped to raise £200,000 when its campaign started on March 26. Within four days, the current total now stands at almost £1.1million.

This milestone comes as it was announced 1,408 people have sadly died from the virus to date.

James McAvoy donated £275,000
James McAvoy donated £275,000

This figure was helped along by one of the world's top actors - X-Men and Last King of Scotland star James McAvoy personally donated £275,000 to the effort yesterday.

Promoting the cause on an Instagram post, the 40-year-old said: "We've all heard stories about doctors and nurses having to buy their own Personal Protective Equipment from the internet or DIY stores.

"The products aren't good enough and frankly neither is that situation."

He goes on to implore viewers to donate to Dr Masand's crowdfunder so that more lives can be saved.

It was suggested on Friday that temporary hospitals could be built in the county, to accommodate cases that arise during the expected boom still to come.

Meanwhile Ashford company ITL offered its help to companies that wanted to commission ventilators.

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