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Femi ”organizes the production of protective masks

Date: 16 Mar 2020

Femi organized the production of protective masks, and introduced strict measures to protect its workers.

The upper-Arahovian manufacturer of lingerie and swimwear Femi organizes the production of reusable face masks. The original idea was to ensure the protection of the company's employees after the masks disappeared from pharmacies. But then, especially after the introduction of the state of emergency, they were inundated with orders from other companies and institutions.

Masks are just one of the mandatory security measures put in place in the upper Aryahovian company. Already at the end of February, Femi is in alert mode against the threat of Covid-19.

We have many contractors from Italy, France and Spain. So, I have long been aware of what awaits us and tried to get ahead of the events, explains company boss Milena Toncheva. As early as February 25, workers were warned what they should do from here on out to prevent infection. They were given protective masks and disinfecting materials.

Unless we take action, what is happening in Italy will come here, too. Our population is also very old, perhaps not as much as the Italian population, but our health system is no better. So we run the risk of falling into the same spiral of escalating morbidity and high mortality, Toncheva explains. We have taken steps to protect workers and their families. Unfortunately, I see that many companies still ignore the problem and their workers are unprotected, she said.

On March 10, the company began permanent disinfection of rooms, door handles and worktops. On March 12, they begin to measure the temperature of each worker before entering the workshops. The next day everyone is required to wear protective masks all the time. External access is blocked.

They produced the first protective masks on March 12 and 13 after it turned out that they could no longer be found at pharmacies and stores. They make the first 500 pieces for their own use and for loved ones.

We are not aiming for speculation or even seeking profit. We sell them almost at production price. But everyone should be able to defend themselves. From what I know, the virus is relatively large and several layers of fabric can stop it. I strongly emphasize that these are not medical masks, they are not tested, we have no guarantee what the degree of protection is. But this is something like first aid in a time of crisis, explains Milena Toncheva.

Currently, they produce two types of reusable masks that can be washed and disinfected. Both types are made of two layers - with cotton on the inside and one with polyamide on the outside and the other with extra coated polyester that repels splashes and drops. The two types have a pocket between the two layers, in which additional protection can be put - disinfecting gel, gauze, even a daily dressing. All the fabrics used are from the production of swimwear and linen so that they meet the standards of contact with the body. But we have no claim that they are medical masks and give 100% protection, Toncheva repeats.

Initially, the masks knew a limited range of close and friendly companies, but on Friday, the orders were inundated and there is currently no free sale. Big orders are being fulfilled, and within a day or two there will be masks in the Femi store.

In the meantime, the company's security measures continue to be enriched. Hours have changed, with workers taking a break every hour to ventilate the premises, disinfect worktops, and have time to wash and drink hot water.

I try to convince my people that they have to accept the inconvenience in order to get through this ordeal faster. I hope more employers realize that protecting their workers is in everyone's interest and that strict measures can only protect us from the tragedy of Italy, says Milena Toncheva.


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