Local company produces face masks

By Adel Fruean 28 March 2020, 4:00PM

A local business is addressing the nationwide shortage of face masks by producing their own using poplin fabrics.

Local company, Rimani Samoa, is selling face masks for adults and children at Savalalo.

The owner of the business, Lawreen Lees-Vaai told the Samoa Observer that they only started operations last Thursday.

“It all started when we could not get any face masks from our pharmacies,” she said.

She said that one of their staff was tasked from going around all pharmacies to get some masks but it was unavailable:

“It was because of the lack of masks available to the public that we decided to make some for our own staff.

“A friend was also looking for masks so she ordered some for her staff and that was how it all began.

“We used a variety of fabrics such as stretchy, cotton, and linen to produce the masks but some fabrics made it hard to breathe and then finally we identified that poplin fabric was the best option.”

She also said that the masks serve as an option not a medically approved mask from the health sector.

“When we advertised the masks on Facebook some have said that the masks we made were not medically approved.

“But this is just an option for our people to decide to use or not because there are absolutely no masks available at pharmacies.

“We know that there have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in our country but it is very important to be prepared because the virus has claimed so many lives already.”

Ms. Vaai added that the mask will not guarantee that one will be safe from being infected but it reduces the risk of getting infected:

“On our Facebook page we have also advised that the face mask goes with hygienic activities such as washing hands with soap and using sanitizers.

“We have had more than a thousand orders so far, this just highlights that there is a great need to be addressed and that people value protection.

“The common color for masks is white but we have a variety of colors such as black, green, blue, red and purple.”

She said that the masks are reusable masks after being washed with hot water.

“This was our way of helping our own staff feed their families.”

The masks are sold at $3.00 for adults and $2.00 for children.

By Adel Fruean 28 March 2020, 4:00PM

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