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Covering faces to combat Covid-19

Wednesday 25 March 2020 | Written by Katrina Tanirau | Published in Local

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Covering faces to combat Covid-19
Teuira Napa models TAV's handmade facemasks (left) with Ellena Tavioni and Faga Hiagi. 20032408./ Katrina Tanirau

Renowned clothing brand TAV Pacific has shifted its focus from high-end resort wear fashion to a necessity we will all need in the coming weeks – facemasks.

TAV managing director Ellena Tavioni said with the coronavirus crisis sweeping the globe, it was their way of doing their bit for others in the Cook Islands.

With an estimated 3000 children in Rarotonga each child is eligible for a free facemask, which they can collect from the store.

Tavioni said initially they thought they would make the facemasks just for children.

But with the Covid-19 situation changing rapidly, they decided to extend their production and have hundreds of facemasks on hand for everyone.

Adult facemasks are reusable and can be washed and disinfected every night.

The fabric used is mostly cotton with a bit of spandex so the mask sits nicely on the face.

Tavioni said they discovered that by adding a tissue inside it gives extra protection and makes breathing easier.

“We are experimenting as we go along,” she said.

There are also plans in place to send some to New Zealand, where the price of facemasks has skyrocketed due to demand.

“It’s just our way of doing something and being kind. We cannot underestimate how serious this is.”