The battle against COVID-19 has sparked the necessity to use any available means for protection. As such, a team of European researchers from the Czech Technical University have been converting low-cost snorkel masks into respirators in order to treat patients and protect medical workers.
The research team worked along with volunteers, adding military-grade filters to the masks, which are typically used for swimming and sell for around 20 euros in local stores.
The retrofitted masks were proved quite effective, surpassing the protection of masks carrying FFP3. More than 2, 000 pieces were retrofitted, with the aim to distribute them to hospitals around Prague, as well as other areas.
Meanwhile, a hospital in Belgium has been testing snorkelling masks as respirators for patients, as an alternative solution to conventional ventilation. A physiotherapist working on the project, commented: “The solution is to use snorkeling masks, but we have only tested them on volunteers. It has to be right”.