Ontex will start the production of face masks by September 2020, with a capacity of around 80 million IIR-type surgical face masks per year, the Belgium-based hygiene product manufacturer has announced.
“We invest in the production of surgical face masks to support caregivers and other essential workers,” said Annick De Poorter, Ontex’s vice president for R&D, Quality and Sustainability. “We want to help protect these people, including Ontex employees, who keep society going by providing essential goods and services.”
The surgical face masks of the IIR type, which are typically used in hospitals, are planned to be produced on a line at Ontex’s factory in Eeklo, Belgium in accordance with applicable regulations. Ontex has ordered specialized machinery and is training staff to get certified for production and start producing face masks in September or earlier. The new production is Ontex’s own initiative and receives no government funding.
In order to offer face mask sourcing options for caregivers and other essential workers before September, Ontex is providing local authorities a direct contact with a trusted face mask supplier which it is using as well. Ontex provides this assistance to the extent allowed, as some governments have strict regulations whereby only their competent administrations are entitled to coordinate the sourcing of protective gear against COVID-19.