The government is examining how to gradually restart the economy amidst the lockdown, but in order to do so a sufficient amount of personal protective equipment must be secured, the government’s spokesman for the coronavirus epidemic, Jelko Kacin, told the press on Friday. The goal is to domestically produce 100,000 masks daily.
“The Ministry of Economic Development and Technology is prioritising domestic production of protective equipment that would be available to workers,” he said, adding that the business sector was behind only healthcare and nursing homes when it came to the distribution of protective equipment.
Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek yesterday visited several companies that produce protective gear. “Our intention is to secure at least 100,000 face masks daily from local production.” The number has already been achieved, Kacin said, but added that “demand will be high”.
Počivalšek yesterday visited Prevent&Deloza, a maker of protective equipment that he said is already producing 10,000 washable face masks daily according to a design approved by UKC Ljubljana, Slovenia’s largest hospital.
Several other companies that do not specialise in protective equipment have started producing masks in recent weeks, including car upholstery maker Boxmark in Kidričevo, which produces over 6,000 face masks daily for the national stockpile, and several other major textile companies which have not disclosed their output.
Dozens of small sewing businesses around the country have joined the effort as well and many municipalities have already started distributing face masks to residents, usually of the washable variety.
At the same time, efforts continue on an ongoing basis to secure enough protective equipment for the hospital setting.
Počivalšek said on Twitter today that a million three-layer masks had just been delivered to the Commodity Reserves Institute’s main warehouse in Ljubljana. Earlier this week a million surgical masks and 200,000 of the higher-grade FFP2 masks had been delivered from Czechia.