Science-led consumer healthcare company Clinova, co-founded by Yorkshireman Arsalan Karim, is increasing production of its respirator flu mask, Covaflu, to 5 million per month to support the UK government.
The move will help provide both NHS and key workers with the personal protective equipment (PPE) they need to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Covaflu respirator masks were first launched in the UK in 2007. While they proved popular during the swine flu and avian flu pandemics, the present global demand is unprecedented.
The Covaflu respirator mask was the first product designed by Clinova’s founders when the company launched, based on the epidemiological statistical probability that a viral pandemic was a ‘when’ and not an ‘if’. The name itself reflects a combination of corona, virus and flu.
Clinova’s flagship version is its FFP2 respirator mask, which helps prevent viruses from entering the body through the mucous membranes of the mouth and nostrils. The protective function is verified by the Europe-wide EN 149 standard, certifying protection from avian flu, SARS and tuberculosis, as well as infections by respiratory pathogens and bacteria.
The Covaflu FFP2 filters 94 per cent of particles, complies with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) pandemic protection guidelines, and has an adjustable head harness suitable for every head size.
Clinova recently agreed to supply 500,000 FFP2 Flu Masks to staff at Lloyds Pharmacy, Britain’s second-largest pharmacy chain. Covaflu is proving popular with frontline and key workers, who are working harder than normal during the pandemic. Ocado and WHSmith have also agreed to list Covaflu to allow their customers easier access to flu masks.
Former Health Minister Sir Simon Burns said: “During these unprecedented times, I am pleased that Clinova has increased its manufacturing capabilities to supply both the NHS and the public with Covaflu respiratory masks. These are essential to protect our key workers as they work tirelessly in the fight against COVID-19, and they will continue to do their part in providing the maximum protection for people from this deadly virus.”
Arsalan Karim, director of Research and Development of Clinova, maker of Covaflu flu respirator mask, said: “We have increased the production of our masks by more than five million a month in order to support the essential work being done by the NHS at this time of increased need.
“It’s important that we ensure smooth supply for all UK businesses, hospitals and pharmacies during the pandemic to ensure the ongoing safety of frontline workers.
“We have also added a Pandemic Flu section in our Caidr app with detailed information on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and some tips on how to reduce the spread of the virus.”
Providing further advice, Dr Tom Bracewell, Clinova Chief Medical Officer, said: “The image of people wearing masks has become commonplace during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. There is changing advice on who should be wearing masks, with the USA now adjusting to advise even healthy people to wear them. This was in part due to a review of evidence showing people can pass on the virus before they exhibit symptoms themselves.
“Masks offer different levels of protection depending on their ability to filter particles. One of the most protective particle filtering masks is FFP2/N95. The COVAFLU mask is one of the leading global FFP2 flu respirator brands and complies with the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for the minimisation of risk during pandemic flu, using particle-filtering technology.
“Surgical masks that do not use particle-filtering technology will give you protection from large droplets but will not protect you from smaller airborne particles. Particle-filtering masks such as Covaflu will filter at least 94 per cent of airborne particles.
“What is clear is that if you are going to wear a mask, it should be good enough at filtering particles small enough to prevent the virus from entering your body. Homemade masks are not regulated and may give a false sense of protection. There is a high chance that coronavirus and other infections can pass through cloth or homemade masks.”