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Coronavirus: O'Neills back at work as it starts making scrubs

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O’Neills is helping in the fight against coronavirus by manufacturing medical scrubs at its Strabane factory

O’Neills is helping in the fight against coronavirus by manufacturing medical scrubs at its Strabane factory

�Lorcan Doherty

O’Neills is helping in the fight against coronavirus by manufacturing medical scrubs at its Strabane factory

O'Neills has swapped sports shirts for scrubs, as it gets back to work by tackling coronavirus.

The sportswear business confirmed that around 150 staff are now back at work as the first sets of medical scrubs rolled off the production line.

The Strabane-based firm - which had suspended all operations last Thursday due to loss of trade amid the coronavirus outbreak - secured an order for 55,000 maroon scrubs on Monday.

Now the first sets, which will go to NHS staff across Northern Ireland, have been produced at the firm's factory.

O'Neills said it could not comment on the volume of orders at this stage as it is "changing daily".

The company said fabric used in the scrubs was dyed and coated with anti-viral properties at its Walkingstown site in Dublin.

When Kieran Kennedy, managing director of O'Neills, announced the deal he said he hoped to be able to produce 10,000 sets of scrubs per week.

Meanwhile, a Belfast-based medical 3D printing firm is to put its facilities and expertise behind the efforts to tackle the Covid-19 crisis.

Axial3D said it is currently evaluating and prototyping 3D printed devices, parts and equipment that could be used in the fight against the virus. This includes prototyping and 3D printing parts for Covid-19 test kits, swabs, masks and ventilators.

The company said it hopes that by prioritizing its 3D print facilities in the UK and USA, it can quickly supply much needed parts to hospitals and medical device manufacturers.

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