As the coronavirus pandemic created havoc worldwide, Pakistan was hit with another severe issue, the high-rates of masks. With the massive increase in demand for N-95 masks, the markets suddenly went short of them. Plus the suppliers who had them increased the prices exorbitantly making it out of reach of the citizens when needed.
While N-95 masks were being sold for 1000% after shortage, some Pakistanis stepped up top help others fight coronavirus. As per reports, recently, a skilled team of a private university in Sindh has come up with a brilliant idea that can obsolete the N-95 masks. A group of academicians from Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET) has developed a substitute for the expensive masks.
MUET finds a cheaper substitute for N-95 masks
Particularly, the idea came in after analyzing the unlawful skyrocketing prices of N-95 masks in Pakistan. As masks are the prime saviors of humans during this pandemic, the team at MUET has created a cheaper version. Details reveal that the creators are using nonfibre membranes for filtration purposes and can prevent the transmission of bacteria.
On the creation, Professor Zeeshan Khatri from the textile engineering department spoke to a local news outlet. He stated, ”We are using nanofibre membranes for filtration in the face mask. It can filter up to 95 percent of bacteria or viruses and prevents potential viral transmission.”
Startup of the MUET professors
Furthermore, the Centre for Excellence in Nanotechnology and Materials has been involved in its research since 2013. The developed mask consists of nonwoven skincare fabric, nanofibre membrane, nonwoven fabric, and anti-splash coating. Whereas, a normal mask has three layers, which too is low on preventing the transmission of bacteria.
For the public, Professor Zeeshan Khatri along with his fellow colleague Professor Farooq Ahmed has launched a startup. Within a month, the professors have sold about 13,000 masks mostly to the frontline health officials. Since the machine needed for production was expensive, they improvised one for a much cheaper amount.
As of now, the daily production is of 1,000 masks but they aim to increase it to 5,000 soon to overcome the pandemic. For authenticity, the created masks are sent to TTI Lab Lahore and SGS Lab Karachi for testing purposes. On the matter, Professor Khator expressed, ”There is no recognized lab for testing bacterial and viral filtration in Pakistan, therefore, the company is sending masks to the United States and Hong Kong-based labs for the tests too.”
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