Health Minister Robin Swann has praised the amazing response from local companies to help supply vital PPE to Health care workers in Northern Ireland.
Minister Swann was speaking as he announced that an order with an estimated value of £15 million has been placed with Limavady firm Paragon Health to supply Type IIR face masks.
Minister Swann said: “As we all prepare for a critical phase in the battle against Covid-19 all parts of society have a part to play. Local industry has had the ingenuity, creativity and foresight to be part of the campaign in the fight against Covid-19 and I am delighted to make this announcement today.”
Paragon Health are the first of a number of firms across Northern Ireland to have successfully completed a series of rigorous technical and suitability assessments to allow them to provide vital PPE for the health and social care sector.
The Minister said: “In addition a number of other local firms are nearing completion of the assessment process and if successful they too will begin production of the Type IIR masks in coming weeks. These orders are in excess of £49 million over 12 months.”
The Minister concluded by commending the work of Business Services Organisation (BSO) in bringing the contracts to fruition. “These levels of production will be a massive step forward in ensuring continuity of supply of PPE for our front line workers across all health settings with millions of these masks being produced locally each month.”
Martin Tierney from Paragon Health paid tribute to the healthcare workers using these medical masks. “We appreciate the tremendous effort and compassion that healthcare workers put into caring for patients every day. We’re proud to help protect them and to provide local employment at the same time.”
Mr Tierney also highlighted the importance of supporting local businesses and the impact this has had on their staff numbers. “Each new staff member we bring on is paying a mortgage, raising a family and spending money in our local shops. Local people, here in Northern Ireland, have the ability to make high quality goods and to serve our own needs.
“We’ve designed and created world-class production processes to compete with any country on the manufacture of PPE. Our exports show that we can provide high quality goods, add local jobs and support research and development in a high-tech industry.”
Notes to editors:
1. Limavady based Paragon Health was established to help meet the demands for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and to provide a stable and safe local supply of surgical masks.
2. Their Type IIR disposable, medical masks are manufactured in Northern Ireland, using a local supply base.
3. Paragon currently exports PPE to various countries around the world.
4. Type IIR face masks are medical devices, and are made up of a 3 ply construction that prevents large particles from reaching the patient or working surfaces.
5. Type IIR Face masks include a splash resistant layer to protect against blood and other bodily fluids. Type IIR face masks are tested in the direction of exhalation (inside to outside) and take into account the efficiency of bacterial filtration.
6. Characteristics of Type IIR face masks include:
· Pleat style with ear loops or ties
· Protective three-layer construction
· Splash resistant layer against bodily fluids.
· Compliant with BS EN 14683:2019
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