Italian cycle wear manufacturer Santini has announced that it will start manufacturing face masks in response to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. The firm is based in Bergamo, the Lombardy town that has been hardest hit by the crisis.
Italy has now passed China as the country worst-hit by coronavirus and Bergamo is the epicentre with hospitals reportedly full.
"Now the goal is to save lives,” said Santini marketing director Paola Santini, speaking to Bergamo News.
She said the firm had contacted another company, Sitip, which supplies a waterproof and breathable fabric and then made a prototype mask.
“We have made the prototype,” she said. “Now we are waiting for the go-ahead from the Politecnico di Milano which is testing it and from Monday 23 March we could put our mask to work. We have already tested the machinery and we are ready to produce 10,000 masks per day.”
Belgian cycle wear firm Vermarc Sport has said that it too will be producing masks.
Our Belgian production is working on these mask since a couple of days and is distributing these for Belgian Police stations and retirement homes. 😷
— Vermarc Sport (@VermarcSport) March 20, 2020
Czech manufacturer Kalas has also been called upon to produce items for emergency services.
Kalas statement on Covid-19 situation and impact on custom production. As a family-owned company we care deeply about the health and wellbeing of all our employees, at our factory and head office in the Czech Republic, and our distributors and local offices all around the world. We have taken essential measures to protect our people and try as best we can to provide an uninterrupted service to our valued customers. As of this moment, we are operating at approximately 80% of our normal capacity. With Czech schools closed some of our factory workers need to remain home. For those continuing to work we have provided additional measures inside the workplace to minimise risk of transmitting the virus. Office staff are now working from home for an indefinite period. Kalas have been asked to urgently produce essential items for local emergency services in our home region. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by any subsequent delays to custom orders but hope you understand the extreme and unanticipated reasons for this slight delay in unprecedented times. Our e-shop of stock items remains well-stocked with our collections and replicas. For further information on individual (custom) orders please contact your local Kalas representative who will be keen to assist. In the meantime, as many of you will be entering a period of lockdown and isolation, we believe it's important to keep spirits high and stay active. We will be stepping-up our online content, with more blogs for you to read and videos to watch, and we plan to organise more virtual rides and races via Zwift where together we can all Ride On. Details to follow via social media and newsletters. Thank you all for your continued support and we wish you all good health. Josef Filip & Jakub Vencek.