KUANTAN (Bernama): The Penor Prison sewing workshop here is racing against time to produce personal protecting equipment (PPE) for medical personnel treating Covid-19 patients.
For the past few days 18 inmates have been measuring, cutting and stitching the material to produce PPE from 9 am to 5 pm daily.
Penor Prison director Datuk Abu Hasan Hussain said they received 2,000 metres of special material to produce PPE as a unit (from head to toe) would require five metres each.
“Our workshop began producing PPE last Friday (March 27) and we can produce over 20 units daily that will then be sent to the Pahang state secretary office to be distributed to the state health department.
“Currently, the workshop continues its operations on Saturdays and Sundays due to the urgent need for PPE following an increase in the number of Covid-19 positive cases, ” he said when met by Bernama here Monday (March 30).
Abu Hasan said several prison staff attended the PPE manufacturing briefing on March 25 to ensure that the PPE produced was in accordance with standard operating procedure (SOP).
In addition to the PPE, Abu Hasan said the Prison Women Staff and Wives of Prison Staff Association (Persiap) has also produced 525 units of face shields for the use of frontline personnel.
Meanwhile, the workshop supervisor Sergeant Muhd Mulyadi Abd Ghani said the inmates did not take long to understand the method of sewing the PPE as they had mastered the skills because they had previously received orders to produce uniforms.
"To ensure the whole process goes as smoothly as possible, we have created three special stations consisting of materials distribution, cutting and stitching. The finished product will undergo a quality control check by prison staff.
"The most difficult part of the whole process is inserting elastic bands at the wrist, chin and shoe cover, ” he said.
One of the inmates, Man, 26, who was jailed for drug offences, said his job at the cutting section of the PPE project has given him the opportunity to contribute in a small way to the country in a difficult situation.
He said he found out about the Covid-19 outbreak when his mother came to visit him on March 15 and told him about the virus.
"I know it is contagious, I am also proud to be able to help even in prison. My contribution is not great, but I hope it can help protect struggling medical personnel, ” he said.
Another inmate, Saiful, 33, said he hoped the PPE they produce will help ease the shortage of equipment that he understood was crucial in the treatment of Covid-19 patients.
Saiful, who is serving 18 years in prison for robbery, said he was happy that the sewing skills he learned after being sentenced to jail allowed him to make a small contribution. – Bernama