DOST to produce at least 500,000 reusable face masks
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Science and Technology has said it will produce at least half a million reusable face masks to keep up with the high demand as new cases of the novel coronavirus continue to rise.
“DOST’s Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) in cooperation with the Taytay LGU (local government unit) and the private sector will produce 500,000 reusable face masks (up to 50 times),” Science Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
“It will use a PTRI textile-coating technology for treatment and finishing. It will also collaborate with the Power Fashion Inc. to produce masks using local fiber textiles which will be donated by the latter,” he said.
These masks will be applied with textile water-repellent finishing technology developed by the institute for added protection against viruses and bacteria that are usually spread through water droplets, PTRI said in a separate post.
Face masks have started to become scarce after the eruption Taal Volcano in January. It became even more in demand after the Philippines began reporting the first cases of COVID-19 in February.
DOST is also in charge of producing COVID-19 diagnostic kits good for 26,000 tests “and additional quantities as would be needed by the Department of Health,” Dela Peña said.
The agency has also been eyeing potential foreign bilateral partners for possible clinical trials in the Philippines for the vaccine or drug they have developed in their research and development centers.
As of the latest, there are 193 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines, while 14 have died and 7 have recovered.
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