Visitation Church Embarks on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Sewing Project - 14th April, 2020

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A group of government doctors took the initiative to embark on the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) sewing project, in collaboration with the Parish Priest of the Church of The Visitation.  This was to provide PPE for frontline personnel in Government Clinics in Negeri Seremban. Rev. Fr. Xavier Andrew designated Bernadette Wong of the Church of The Visitation Women’s Desk, to co-ordinate the project.  Volunteers with skills to sew and cut were called to come forward to help in this worthy cause. About 24 volunteers responded.  While the majority were from the Church of The Visitation, there were volunteers from other faiths, namely, Buddhist, Sikh and the Christian Denominations. 

On Monday, 13 April 2020, while waiting for Dr. Punithavathy Munusamy from  Pejabat Kesihatan Daerah (PKD) to send over the 8 units of sewing machines, fabric, sewing materials, thread and other necessities to the Catholic Centre,  at Jalan Lee Sum,  Seremban, a few volunteers gathered to prepare and set up  the hall.  Rev. Fr. Xavier inspected the hall and handed permit letters to the volunteers.  In total 12 sewing machines were set up.

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On Tuesday 14 April, 2020, Rev Fr. Xavier Andrew, in his welcome speech, thanked the doctors, especially Dr. Prabhakaran Arulanandam and Dr. Punithavathy Munusamy for the initiative taken and the volunteers who had responded, in spite of the Movement Control Order (MCO).   He thanked them for their willingness and generosity in giving their time, energy and skills to render this service.  He assured them that he will keep them all specially in prayer. 

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Dr. Punithavathy then briefed the volunteers on the 7 steps for washing hands and sanitize.  The volunteers were earlier screened upon arrival.  She explained that the volunteers must check their temperature before starting work.  They were to maintain the MCO requirement for social distancing (minimum 1 meter apart) and wear face masks.

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Work began almost immediately after the briefing.  By the end of the first week, on Friday, 17 April 2020, the number of PPE sewn were 22 pairs of boots, 33 hoods and 90 gowns.  They were checked, folded and packed into boxes by the volunteers. Throughout the week, Rev. Fr. Xavier and Rev. Fr. Terrance came to the Centre to show their support and helped in the packing.

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We commend Rev Fr. Xavier, on his presence and encouragement which was an inspiration to the volunteers. Currently, the total number of volunteers is 34.  There were two groups of volunteers who worked from Monday to Friday, from 12.00 noon to 5.00pm with tea break in between. Rev Fr. Xavier Andrew, the volunteers and doctors will continue to work together until such time as when the PPE is sufficient. 

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Article by The Women’s Desk, Church of The Visitation. Edited by the Media & Social Communication team, Church of The Visitation, Seremban.