Designer Michael Leyva produces hazmat suits, masks for COVID-19 frontliners

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 25 2020 12:15 PM

MANILA -- Designer to the stars Michael Leyva has turned his atelier into a pseudo-factory producing hazmat suits, masks and other personal protective equipment (PPEs) for medical workers and other frontliners battling the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country.

Leyva's cutting tables were temporarily devoid of silk, sequins, beads and other materials for gowns, and was instead covered in waterproof fabric as the designer and his team hustled to help solve the scarcity of PPEs in the Philippines.

"We are one with this. #teammichaelleyva will be donating PPEs, head covers and masks for our heroes #frontliners," Leyva said in an Instagram post.

"Mabuhay po kayo at salamat sa dedikasyon at pagmamahal sa ating bayan. This wouldn’t have been possible without my team’s dedication and willingness to help," he said.

Leyva is the latest Filipino designer who used his tailoring skills and manpower to produce equipment for medical workers as hospitals called for donations for PPEs.

Mich Dulce, Steph Lim, Patrice Ramos Diaz, Rajo Laurel, Patty Ang and Puey Quinones are among the fashion industry stalwarts who have also been using their ateliers to produce PPEs for frontliners.

Beauty clinic Belo has also donated its stock of PPEs to hospitals and authorities manning checkpoints across Luzon.

The Philippines is under a state of calamity as the government scampers for funds to contain the spread of COVID-19.

On Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte signed a bill that would allow the executive branch to realign funds to help the government purchase more medical supplies needed in hospitals and testing facilities.

As of March 24, 552 patients in the Philippines tested positive for COVID-19. Of those infect 35 died, 20 recovered, while the rest continue to battle the disease.