Thai Medical and Research organizations’ Joint campaign “Together, we’ll win over COVID-19” is open for crowd donation now

March 20, 2020

Sinwattana sincerely appeals to all Thais to lend a helping hand and support this WIN-Mask initiative which was made possible By Thailand & For Thailand. Together as one, Tying our hearts as one, Thailand will WIN the fight against COVID-19! Donate to the cause now and help our country recover from this pandemic situation at https://social.sinwattana.com/viewCampaign/SEI9IB97GNI803#Story and do help us spread the word to your friends and family! Thank you!

As the Thai government makes preparations to manage a possible third-stage outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand, the use of surgical and N95 masks is set to increase drastically in the coming weeks. Medical personnel will have to dispose and change their masks more frequently to protect themselves from getting infected and the general public will also increase the usage of masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Furthermore, the import of masks and raw materials for the production of mask will be a daunting task as more countries such as Indonesia bans export of hand sanitzer, face masks and raw materials to tackle shortage within their nations. This will add on to the already strained supply chain to produce surgical and N95 masks required by the Thai population. Moreover, the minimum standard of masks to be used by all hospital medical personnel dealing with COVID-19 cases is set as the N95 mask. Siriraj Hopsital usually uses 3,000 pieces of N95 masks per month during non-outbreak periods. However, the hospital has predicted that there will be at least 2 to 3 times increase in mask usage during the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

Fortunately, thanks to the great foresight of Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences (TCELS), Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Ministry of Higher Eduation, Science, Research and Innovation,  Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna, Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology and funding support from National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT), these multiple stakeholders joined forces after being able to anticipate and solve the problem of a highly possible shortage of masks by inventing and producing the washable and effective WIN-Mask.

Properties of WIN-Mask

In just 2 months, the multi stakeholders alliance managed to invent and test a Washable Innovative Nano-Mask that has 3 layers: 

1. Siriraj dust-tight woven type fabric with Nano waterproof coating 

2. Microfiber-ZnO fabric with antibacterial property 

3. Cotton fabric that can absorb water from sneezing and coughing

By integrating the properties of the 3 layers of fabric, the efficacy of the mask has been proven to be able to filter all dust from small sputum at the level of 2.5-5 microns. More importantly, WIN-Masks can be washed and reused more than 30 times before losing its dust and sputum filtering qualities.

The WIN-Mask has been tested to be able to fulfill 5 key specifications identified by the multi stakeholders and they are as follow:

1. Particle filtration efficiency (PFE): Must be able to prevent and filter 5-micron particles dust

2. Fluid resistance: Must be able to prevent the permeability of phlegm aerosol or liquid secretions from the external surrounding of the wearer and also from the wearer’s sputum to the external surrounding

3. Firmness of the mask (Fit test): Must be able to be worn comfortably on the face and prevent air from entering through the sides of the mask

4. Good air permeability (Permeability Test): Must allow good ventilation and does not cause difficulty in breathing to the wearer

5. Washable: Must be able to be washed repeatedly without losing the 4 properties mentioned above for at least 30 times

With the 5 key properties fulfilled, the WIN-Mask provides better protection against both virus and PM2.5 dust than ordinary surgical mask but it is still less effective in some minor aspect compared to the N95 mask. The multi stakeholders will continue to research and develop the WIN-Mask further and improve the mask to be able to filter 0.3-micron virus, whch efficacy will be closer to the effectiveness of the N95 mask’s properties. 

Production process of WIN-Mask

The WIN-Mask will be produced at a qualified factory that has been awarded the standard certificate by the Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA). The WIN-Mask will also be sterilized by Gamma radiation by the Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology (TINT) at the final stage of production prior to distribution.

Therefore, users can be assured of the safety and cleanliness of the production of WIN-Masks even though production of the WIN-Mask is more complicated than the normal mask production, especially during the sewing process since it is a fabric-made product. Due to the lack of regulatory standard on the sterlization process for the production of masks, most masks in the market are only sterilized by UV radiation.

There are three phases for the production and distribution of the WIN-Mask and they are as follow:

1. First phase 

Production capital for the first phase has already been received from related organization such as National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT). They will be produced and delivered under sterile conditions. 3 weeks from now, about 7,000 pieces will be produced and distributed to the major healthcare centers that have been identified as the critical outposts dealing with this pandemic situation.

2.Second phase (current)

Sinwattana’s donation Crowdfunding model will be assisting in the fundraising effort for the second phase whereby the Thai population can donate and help fund the second phase of this fight on COVID-19 in Thailand. Upon success of the fundraising effort, the target production is 100,000 pieces within the next 1-2 months. Thereafter, the masks will be delivered to people who needs it the most according to the priority assessment on this pandemic situation.

3.Final phase

there will be mass production providing accord to social demand from general publicity by pre-ordering with Sinwattana Rewards crowdfunding model.

The success of this initiative depends on the results of this fundraising process from the masses on every phase and the production capacity of the factory that meets the above stated standards. Henceforth, Sinwattana sincerely appeals to all Thais to lend a helping hand and support this 2nd phase of the initiative which was made possible By Thailand & For Thailand. Together as one, Tying our hearts as one, Thailand will WIN the fight against COVID-19!

Donate to the cause now and help our country recover from this pandemic situation at https://social.sinwattana.com/viewCampaign/SEI9IB97GNI803#Story and do help us spread the word to your friends and family! Thank you!

Reference

The Press Conference “WIN-Masks: Washable Innovative Nano-Masks”

https://www2.si.mahidol.ac.th/en/news-events/the-press-conference-win-masks-washable-innovative-nano-masks/?fbclid=IwAR2JF4SYNT2opVQNudpoe7Odz8mXPfynQudZlyMjjWCTTeK9x6uNjuPIyXs

Indonesia bans exports of hand sanitzer, face masks to tackle shortage

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-18/indonesia-bans-sanitizer-face-mask-exports-to-tackle-shortage