The subject of wearing of masks to protect against the virus Covid-19 has taken on a new priority – and not just for health workers for whom it has always been seen as an essential protection. It is now clearly being targeted for use by the public at large.
If a person is infected by Covid-19 there is a consensus that wearing a mask helps prevent them spreading the virus. The droplets from their breath containing the virus are caught by their mask.
There is a double protection if everyone wears a mask because those that are not infected who wear a mask are protected, to a degree, against any virus not caught by the masks of those infected.
Countries like Hong Kong who have everyone wearing masks have fared better and even have been able to keep businesses going throughout the pandemic. Stéphane Valeri of the Conseil National has been urging the Government to ensure that masks are available to all residents in Monaco.
This was a priority on the Agenda of the fourth meeting of the Covid-19 Joint Monitoring Committee held this Wednesday, April 15, chaired by the Minister of State. In consultation with the National Council, the Princely Government has confirmed its decision to buy from Bettina, whose premises are located in Monaco, all of its production of reusable fabric masks, ie 80,000 pieces per month. These masks are certified by the Army Health Service which reports to the French Ministry of the Armed Forces.
The Bettina company, which has traditionally manufactured knitted items for very famous French fashion brands has a manufacturing facility in the Condamine area and skills that are transferable to making masks. Not only the technical skills but also the machines are all there ready to manufacture the item – everything is in place at Bettina. Bettina Graziani, was a famous model from the fifties and it is to her that the company owes its name.
The mask has the advantage of being reusable and being made accurately using computer-aided design techniques – so there is no waste in material in the manufacture. It is made in one go by machines which have been specially programmed. Added to each mask is then a metal piece which pinches the mask on the nose. Washable and reusable the mask is effective for four hours.
Other firms are rushing masks to market. It is becoming designer apparel as well as being a very important health aid. Banana Moon of Monaco has entered the market. And a number of French firms are joining in the chase to supply an envisaged huge demand as France sends out clear signals that masks play a vital role in reopening the workplace in the future, and also especially when travelling on public transport.