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Plastic Shields To Help In Fight Against Virus

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Health Minister Dr Duane Sands tries out one of the face shields.

By TANYA SMITH-CARTWRIGHT

tsmith-cartwright@tribunemedia.net

A local company plans to begin manufacturing plastic face shields which will be sold to the Ministry of Health to aid in the COVID-19 fight.

Peter Bates, CEO of the Sign Man, said the Bahamian company realised it had the materials and skills to move into personal protective equipment (PPE) production, given there is increased demand and short supply around the world.

“We have all sorts of equipment and skill sets and materials to make plastic signs,” Mr Bates explained about his company. “So when this COVID-19 pandemic became evident here and it was obvious that personal protective equipment was in short supply, I figured out if I can make a flat sign, I can make a curved sign and it doesn’t have to have any information on it. So we got together and we made a very high quality prototype face shield. These actually have the ability to be fully adjusted so as not to touch your nose. So you can wear the shield and not feel claustrophobic.”

The Sign Man built the prototype and presented it to Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands who was so impressed he posted pictures of the face shields on his Facebook page. “Once we begin the manufacturing process we can produce hundreds of these in a very short period of time,” said Mr Bates. “We agreed to do it at a special price for the Ministry of Health. “They are in short supply and the minister specifically said the ministry will buy a quantity from us and see how it goes. So we are in the process right now setting up the manufacturing and fabrication assembly lines and getting the material here in Nassau.”

The Sign Man is getting set to produce 5,000 face shields which are made out of high quality thick, clear plastic.

“They will be produced, initially, exclusively for the Ministry of Health because they need a large quantity. Once the manufacturing process starts and we know that we can deliver them very quickly to the Ministry of Health, we will then open it up to the general public because we have had a lot of interest from people who may not be frontline health workers, but need the same protection because of their line of work. We think we can manufacture up to 300 face masks per day if we have to.”

The Sign Man manufactured full face shields can be completely immersed in alcohol without damage. So sterilisation of the shields will not be a problem, according to Mr Bates. He said the shields are only known as ‘plastic face shields’ for now, as The Sign Man has not yet gone through testing with the appropriate medical authorities which are authorised to deem them ‘medical face masks’.

After the Ministry of Health’s order is satisfied, Mr Bates said The Sign Man will consider supplying store owners and people whose work has them in constant contact with others with the face shields. The company is also looking into manufacturing plastic barriers for cashiers.

Comments

ThisIsOurs 10 months, 1 week ago

Excellent. We need more of this.

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xtreme2x 10 months, 1 week ago

LOL...everyone trying to make some $$$$ now.

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ThisIsOurs 10 months, 1 week ago

'#opportunity. Interestingly enough this is a phenomenon that happens when countries go to war. Manufacturing and skills are repurposed. I think its great. It's people saying we can't just sit and die.

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ohdrap4 10 months, 1 week ago

Ok . Now they need to open the liquor store so we can sanitize the mask in alcohol.

Do not bother to buy one. Just cut up a 2 liter bottle of coca cola. Dip it in rum to sanitize.

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bahamianson 10 months, 1 week ago

Aerosolized virus can make a right or left turn around that contraption. Seriously?

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joeblow 10 months, 1 week ago

… the idea is to provide a physical barrier between the user and the person they are face to face with to reduce the amount of droplets or even blood they are exposed to. In every instance the wearer will have on a face mask and usually goggles.
Can you imagine a dentist doing a procedure on a person with COVID-19 who has no symptoms while not wearing one?

This is an excellent lateral move for a Bahamian business. I wish them success!

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ThisIsOurs 10 months, 1 week ago

added to that the doctors can give insights into possible design changes. it's a great start and think of it. Sign man won't have to let go all their staff

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tell_it_like_it_is 10 months, 1 week ago

Yep and definitely better that what I saw on CNN 2 weeks ago. A doctor was told to clip a sheet protector onto his eye wear, to protect himself when putting a covid patient on a ventilator -due to lack of PPE. Maybe they should send some to that hospital too.

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geostorm 10 months, 1 week ago

Yes, this is good stuff. We need to get back to the business of manufacturing/producing our own goods. We have the talent right here in these islands to do it.

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truetruebahamian 10 months, 1 week ago

Good, It is good to see pro active Bahamian efforts.

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buddah17 10 months, 1 week ago

Well done Peter. GREAT idea. local production of the masks and ESPECIALLY the plastic barriers for cashiers will go a long way in the fight against this plague... Another thought/idea. When I was in mainland China many years ago, in almost all of the taxis I took, there was a clear pactic shield that "wrapped" around the driver, (attached to the roof and the floor of the car.) There was a small space in front of the shield, (and a small hole in the rear,) to exchange funds. These would be GREAT for taxi and bus drivers. (Don't know if you saw it in the news, but a bus driver over here got COUGHED on by a lady standing next to him, caught the virus, and died.) Not sure the logistics of producing these "auto shields" (i.e. if you could just make 1 or 2 different sizes for every car or bus;) but you could probably make a lot of profit on them, (especially for intstillation.) Plus they SHOULD be in BIG demand. (I would want one if I was driving the public...) Maybe you could also do something "different" (say how the driver inteacts with the passengers to exchange the money,) and own the rights to it? Just saying....

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