A breakthrough in the fight against coronavirus has been made with the announcement of a Covid-resistant face mask.
The MOxAD-Tech mask has been developed as part of a joint initiative between Portuguese textile manufacturer Adalberto, fashion retailer MO, and the Lisbon-based Institute of Molecular Medicine (IMM).
Masks have been on the front line of the attempt to inhibit the spread of coronavirus since the World Health Organisation (WHO)
changed its guidance on wearing them in early June.
The chart below shows the WHO research on why masks are an effective means of inhibiting the spread of aerosol transmission.
Despite the broad scientific consensus on masks, many people
remain unconvinced by their effectiveness.
This scepticism could be assuaged by the formulation of a fabric coating that “inactivates” Covid-19 on impact.
The coating has now been ratified by a series of tests carried out at the IMM - so while this close-up of the MOxAD may look like any other mask, it is anything but.
Pedro Simas, the lead virologist on the project, revealed that the mask “effectively inactivated” Covid-19, even after 50 washes, and reduced the virus by 99 per cent, one hour after contact.
The mask may be harmful to coronavirus but tests have also proven it to be completely harmless to humans, raising the intriguing prospect that the coating could be rolled out on other items. But Mr Simas has dampened optimism that it is a panacea.
euronews that it was "just another tool, another element on a mask", describing the invention as a "chemical barrier" on top of a physical one.
The MOxAD-Tech isn’t the first feat of mask engineering, however. Earlier this month
by Japanese company Donut Robotics. This video shows how the mask works. the National reported on the invention of the “smart” face mask
This technology is fun but more of a gimmick than of use in the battle to end the pandemic; those behind the MOxAD-Tech mask will hope their invention offers far greater utility.
Representatives from both Adalberto and MO were asked for comment but were unavailable.
Gallery: Coronavirus around the world
Marisol Aro, wearing a face shield with an image of Wonder Woman, looks out from a car, amid the new coronavirus pandemic in Santiago. AP
A man rides past a coronavirus-related mural by urban artists Mick Martinez and "Were Torres" in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico. AFP
A healthcare worker holds a sample of a nasal swab after testing a passenger at a drive-thru new coronavirus testing site outside a supermarket in Santiago, Chile. AP Photo
Medical workers collect a swab sample during community Covid-19 testing in Broadmeadows, Melbourne, Australia. EPA
A worker wearing a protective suit swabs a man's throat for a coronavirus test at a community health clinic in Beijing, Chian. AP Photo
Coalition of resort labor unions representing Disney cast members holds a car caravan around Disneyland Resort calling for higher safety standards before its reopening in Anaheim, California, USA. AFP
An artisan takes off his face mask, used to combat the spread of the coronavirus, while taking a break behind a fence at the DImitrie Gusti Village Museum in Bucharest, Romania. AP Photo
Passengers wearing face masks walk near a banner displaying precautions against the coronavirus at the subway station in Seoul, South Korea. AP Photo
A waitress takes the temperature of customers as they arrive to eat at Dudley's as restaurants are permitted to offer al fresco dining as part of phase 2 reopening in New York City, USA. Reuters
Staff at Shiva's Signature hair salon wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suits and face shields attend customers after personal grooming services were allowed to resume in Mumbai, India. AFP
People wearing masks for protection observe mandatory social distancing against the spread of the coronavirus as they wait in line to cast their votes in Poland's presidential election in Lomianki near Warsaw, Poland. AP Photo
Residents stay at their building to curb the spread of ovid-19 in Caracas, Venezuela. AP Photo
Fans attend a live stream of Garth Brooks Concert Event for the Concerts In Your Car Series at Ventura County Fairgrounds and Event Center. AFP
An employee readies the body of a woman who died from the new coronavirus for cremation at La Recoleta crematorium in Santiago, Chile. AP Photo
Relatives and friends stand near the coffin of a woman, who died of the coronavirus disease, during her funeral at the Xico cemetery in Valle de Chalco, in the State of Mexico, Mexico. Reuters
A visitor wears a space suit costume on the pier in Huntington Beach, California, US. AP Photo