Girne based Arkin University for Creative Arts and Design (ARUCAD) has produced a sanitiser that could prolong the use of face masks. Designers have also come up with a 3D face shield that can be printed from a home computer. Both designs by the Arkin Innovation Hub (AIH) are freely downloadable and designed to protect frontline health and public sector workers. A design for a small box mask sanitiser uses alcohol vapour to clean masks in two hours for emergency use when sterile surgery masks are unavailable. AIH Professor Tobia Repossi said: “The World Health Organisation has just approved the sanitising of masks and California has procured a system from defence company Battelle, that can decontaminate tens of thousands of used masks per day, making them safe for re-use by health workers. “The system, which uses hydrogen peroxide, allows a single mask to be used 20 times instead of just once.” The faceshield design was finalised in mid-March and has already been downloaded, modified and printed worldwide. ARUCAD workshops are currently 3D printing the faceshields. They will be handed to the Friends of Cyprus Association which is also collecting them from other universities and private individuals. Vice Chancellor Dr Asim Vehbi said that the univer-sity aimed to produce 5,000 faceshields to address the lack of vital facial protection for health workers, police and municipal workers.

ARUCAD, which began production of the 3D face masks in support the “Cypriot Friends” group established by Cypriots living in Istanbul as part of the fight against Covid-19, delivered the face shields to officials of the group. Some of the protective face masks produced by the university’s 3D printers will be distributed to other public service employees who will forward them to Girne Akçiçek Hospital.
Assoc. Dr. Asim Vehbi: “Mass production continues with our own design”
ARUCAD Vice Rector Assoc. Dr. Asim Vehbi, stated that they started mass production in support of the movement initiated by the TRNC Covid-19 Face Shield Production Campaign. He added that it was a great pleasure for the University to show solidarity and address the issue of the lack of personal protective equipment faced by healthcare professionals and other public employees. Vehbi added, “We are proceeding with the mass production of 3D face masks in order to meet the needs of other public institutions and local administrations that require support from us. We have also started the production of the face masks designed by Tobia Repossi, Director of the Innovation Hub operating within our university. The masks, which are our own designs, will be distributed free of charge to institutions and local administrations that require them.
Vehbi thanked the ‘Cypriot Friends’ group, who initiated the solidarity movement, Mr. Erbil Arkin, for his unstinting support, Mr. Dr. Sinan Arkin, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, ARUCAD Workshop Director Tahir Pirgalioglu, and all others involved in the effort .