Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Determined to curb the spread of the dreaded COVID-19, local manufacturer Prince Interior Furniture and Furnishing Company has engaged a cardiologist to help in the mass production of N95 face masks for the protection of vulnerable Nigerians against the deadly virus.
N95 face masks are World Health Organization (WHO) recommended respiratory masks for protection against infection by the deadly virus.
The Chairman of the company, Prince Emeka Egwuekwe, speaking on the manufacturing plans, said that the diversification into the production of the N95 face masks is part of the company’s contribution towards checking the spread of the deadly virus and to crash the cost of the face masks in the country.
“As the federal government begins the gradual easing of the lockdown and with the spread of the virus still in the high side, we thought it wise to join in the job of curbing the spread of the COVID-19 virus and this we have done by going into the production of this N95 face mask at highly subsidised prices,” he said.
“We settled for N95 face mask because it is recommended by WHO to curb the spread of this deadly virus, and going by what the world body said, this particular face mask protects the wearer from being infected by 95 per cent.
“We are not deterred by the epileptic power supply; we are on generator 24 hours as we see this as our own way of giving back to the society and our corporate social responsibility,” he added.
Egwuekwe noted further that: “We are determined to support the government in the fight against this global pandemic and we can see from what is on ground that the government cannot be said to fully prepared to tackle such a challenge.
“When the virus began in China nobody took it seriously, we were not proactive as we should have closed down our airports earlier but we have passed that stage. We are at the solution stage and that is why we engaged the services of a cardiologist to assist and an artist to help in the design of the masks.
“The uniqueness of our own masks is that they are durable and can be washed and used for as long as you want they can be sterilized and very comfortable and they have ventilators,” he added.
Speaking on the production, the Cardiologist, Dr Kenenna Obiatuegwu, noted that the N95 remains the best protective mask the world over, noting that; “the features is that it is custom-fitted, as there are no opening, it is comfortable and has a ventilator to enable the wearer breath.”
“We looked at various factors in designing this mask, some of which are how do we prevent the spread of the virus? How do we protect health workers who are treating coronavirus patients and the fact that the rate of infection is still in the high side despite their wearing Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) that is why we arrived at this N95 that is able to filter microbes of 0.3 microbes and above.
“This N95 protects you 95 per cent, it protects microbes from entering the body by 95 per cent and there are few features that differentiate this N95 from other conventional face masks. They are not made from Ankara, they are made from cotton that are semi-Regis and allows us to get the shapes we want which makes it fitted and does not allow for openings.
“It is fitted to the nose and mouth and, as you aware, the conventional N95 is imported from China which is high risk and that’s why we designed this Nigerian made N95 fill the gap and it is cheaper and it has multi-layered nets which acts as ventilators,” he added.