INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, is using its laser cutting equipment to produce protective face shields, which are now being offered to several public and social institutions in Portugal and Spain to protect their front-line personnel against infection by the new coronavirus.
This week, a first batch of 1200 units is being distributed to: Braga Hospital, Guimarães Hospital, Azilo de São José (Braga), Braga Volunteer Firefighters, Projeto Homem – Braga, Porto Territorial Command of GNR (National Republican Guard), Vigo Hospital (Vigo, Spain) and nursing home of Esclavas de La Virgen Dolorosa (Pontevedra, Spain).
The design of the mask, in polycarbonate, results from the last of three adaptations made by INL to make it simple to manufacture, assemble, and disinfect. INL also made a video with subtitles in Portuguese, Spanish and English, with the assembly instructions for the face-shields, delivered disassembled and disinfected.
In the coming weeks, INL will maintain the production of face shields, at an average of 500 units per day, to donate to institutions with greater needs for personal protection against the new coronavirus.
Bearing in mind that INL is a laboratory created by the initiative of Portugal and Spain, institutions from both countries are being considered as recipients of this protective gear, with particular attention to the municipality of Braga – where INL has its headquarters – and also because it has the sixth-highest absolute number of people infected with COVID-19 in Portugal (April 13th available data).
In addition to this action, INL is validating tests to detect infection by the new coronavirus in about 30 minutes using a drop of blood, in collaboration with the University of Minho School of Medicine, and has also submitted an international research project for the development of a rapid disease diagnosis kit in response to the call launched by the European Union.
INL, as a research laboratory whose main objective is to use nanotechnology and nanoscience to respond to society’s main challenges, is actively committed to doing so for COVID-19 as well.