A Swiss company has introduced a new face mask to combat the risk of infection in mass gatherings amid growing anxiety about the status of the new coronavirus during the forthcoming Haj season.
Latest reports indicate that as many as 66 people have been infected with the virus in the Kingdom, while 38 have died.
As a large number of Muslims are expected to visit Makkah and Madinah during Ramadan and the upcoming Haj season in October, the new technology can be used to assist in reducing the risk and incidence of air-borne infection.
Launching the face mask at a conference in Geneva, workers of Viroblock SA, its makers, demonstrated its qualities. It uses technology that traps and kills over 99.9995 percent of air-borne H1N1 flu viruses (swine flu), 99.999 percent of H5N1 flu viruses (avian flu) and 99.997 percent of human coronaviruses. Developed with the aim of protecting people from respiratory pathogens, the mask contains an effective technology that significantly reduces the threat of air-borne transmitted diseases. “Aerobiology tests for face masks simulate real-life situations, in which the user is exposed to viruses coming in. The mask helps prevent transmission from and to the person wearing the mask,” explained Thierry Pelet of Viroblock. “The stringent testing demonstrates the efficacy and speed at which the cholesterol depletion technology works.”
Aerobiology tests, carried out in high-security laboratories, create a mist of viruses on the outside of the mask. A pump is then used to draw air and viruses through the mask, and finally, testing for the live virus occurs on the inside of the mask.
“We believe that our protective face mask can help protect agriculture and security workers effectively, with the added advantages of comfort of wear and easy identification,” said Jamie Paterson, CEO of Viroblock.