By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff As the BVI experiences increasing difficulty in accessing imported masks and other coronavirus protective gear, a group of local manufacturers have teamed up to create and supply non-medical face masks for the territory.
One of the companies involved in the production is Nutmeg Designs Limited.
“I think it is something that has to be available to people,” Director of Nutmeg Designs, Annie MacPhail, told BVI News on Monday.
Each mask is reusable and consists of two layers of 100 percent cotton; some with filtering inserts. They’ve also been finished with elastic ear straps and flexible nose clips.
MacPhail further explained that the masks all come with instructions on how to put it on.
“While these non-medical masks are in no way meant for use by infected or asymptomatic persons, healthcare workers, caregivers or for surgical or medical use, they are intended to assist in slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus when used in strict compliance with mandatory social distancing practices and the prescribed anti-COVID-19 hand hygiene instructions,” she explained.
“It is just to protect you when you are around crowds and if people are not keeping that social distancing of six feet. A lot of people want to feel more comfortable knowing they have it and that they are not walking into the particles,” the businesswoman added.
Orders pouring in
McPhail said ‘a lot’ of orders have already started pouring in from local families and companies requesting masks on behalf of their employees.
And even at the risk of not making a profit from mask production, MacPhail said the team continues to produce the face-wear to assist the territory, which has had a total of five confirmed cases of COVID-19 so far.
“It’s not going to cover anything like our costs or our overheads in the least, but I feel strongly that I need to do this and so do the other manufacturers,” MacPhail said.
She also said a portion of masks will be made available for persons who are in need and can’t afford to pay for them.
The other companies involved in the manufacture of these locally-made masks are Doyle Sailmakers, Next Wave Designs, and Quantum Sails.