Snorkelling masks in the fight against coronavirus


The Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) has started producing adapters for diving masks. They can only be used in hospitals and will be used by healthcare personnel who come into contact with patients with coronavirus.

Like the French, the VUB's BruBotics group (Brussels Human Robotic Research Center) had the idea of transforming the diving masks usually sold by the Decathlon chain to snorkelling (underwater hiking) enthusiasts.  With this new protective device against coronavirus, only the snorkel is replaced by a new adapter that allows an antivirus/antibacterial filtration that is apparently very effective.

In Belgium, the unit specialising in infectious diseases at the Saint-Pierre University Hospital in Brussels has already tested and validated this rather original device. In view of its success, a consortium has been created around the VUB, bringing together Decathlon and the insurance group Ethias, among others. This new type of mask can thus be produced on a large scale thanks to the mould designed by the lighter company BIC. Belgium is the second country after France where the adapters are distributed.

At present, only healthcare personnel can apply for these new masks, which are delivered completely free of charge to Belgian hospitals.