Chinese-owned car maker MG has donated 30,000 face masks to hospitals in the UK and Ireland as the coronavirus pandemic continues. It follows news that the company would offer NHS trusts and agencies up to 100 electric cars to help keep staff mobile.

The first delivery of masks was made to the temporary NHS Nightingale Hospital Birmingham, at the NEC, on April 20. Some 10,000 masks were delivered to the site, which has an initial capacity of 500 beds, with the option to raise that to 2,000 if necessary.

The remaining 20,000 masks will be distributed between hospitals in south Wales, Dublin and Cork. The two Welsh NHS trusts will receive 5,000 each, while the other 10,000 will cross the Irish Sea and head for the Republic of Ireland.

A spokesperson for University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Nightingale Hospital Birmingham, said the trust was thankful for the support of local businesses, including Longbridge-based MG.

MG Motor supports the fight against coronavirus by donating 30,000 face masks

“This donation of face masks reinforces our resources in the fight against coronavirus,” the trust said. “NHS Nightingale Hospital Birmingham will give hospitals across the West Midlands extra capacity should they need it and we are grateful for the support of local businesses like MG Motor.”

Meanwhile MG Motor UK’s head of sales and marketing, Daniel Gregorious, said the company was pleased to be helping fight the virus both in the UK and overseas.

“Given the international nature of our business we were able to use our extensive network of suppliers to source face masks and supply them to the front-line, where they are needed,” he said. “Our NHS heroes and their counterparts in Ireland are leading the fight against coronavirus and we are glad to be helping their efforts in this way”.

British ambulance responding to an emergency on UK motorway

It’s the latest example of car makers helping the coronavirus effort, after Nissan announced it was using part of its Sunderland factory to distribute masks to NHS trusts up and down the country. It also follows MG’s decision to offer up to 100 ZS EV electric SUVs (above) to NHS trusts in a bid to help staff get around during the coronavirus lockdown.

The news comes as the UK marks a month of lockdown, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the measures on March 23. As of 09:00 on April 22, just under 113,500 people had tested positive for the virus. Sadly, of those, 18,100 were known to have died.