The lack of face masks has sparked an extraordinary wave of solidarity, with people sew them at home and offer them to their fellow residents. However, face masks need to be sterilized and effectively distributed.
Prague and the Czech Red Cross have opened a collection point in front of City Hall on Mariánské náměstí in Prague 1, where Prague residents can drop off handmade masks. After sterilization, volunteers will distribute them to seniors, to health facilities, hospitals and others who need them. The collection starts March 26.
“We appreciate the activities of Praguers trying to help others. However, the key is to get protective equipment safely to people who need it. Therefore, the Czech Red Cross together with Prague will collect and sterilize the masks, and trained volunteers will distribute them. The sterilization of the masks takes place in Na Františku Hospital,” Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib said.
The masks can be dropped off at a Czech Red Cross on Mariánské náměstí daily from 9 am to 6 pm. They accept 100% cotton masks, ideally without elastic bands. Subsequently, the masks will be sterilized in dedicated devices, packaged and distributed to those in need. In the case of workshops or individuals who are able to supply masks regularly and in larger quantities, it is possible to agree with the Czech Red Cross individual collection.
“Disposable masks are used primarily by medical professionals and the Integrated Rescue System. Cotton masks are more suitable for others, as people usually do not have the opportunity to discard the drapes in infectious waste bins and put on a new one after wearing them for several hours,” Deputy Mayor Petr Hlubuček (United Force for Prague). responsible for security, said.
“I am glad that we can use the best Czech qualities and involve hundreds of people and organizations who sew cloth. Czechs show that they are able to handle even extraordinary events themselves. Thank you very much for all this. By the way cloth cloths perfectly fulfill the idea of the functioning of the circular economy,” he added.
City Councilor Milena Johnová (Praha Sobě) said the masks will be directed to the people who need them most —social service workers, seniors, people with disabilities, members of the Integrated Rescue System and others. “The distribution will take place at selected locations in Prague, and will also be distributed by Czech Red Cross volunteers,” she said.
Using masks effectively slows the spread of coronavirus and other infections. However, basic rules must be observed. Fabric masks after use must be washed in water at a temperature of at least 60 degrees, preferably 90 degrees, and then ironed. Disposable masks must not be used more than once and must be replaced at the latest after two hours.
The capital has also set up a single website where people can find out more about COVID-19 and various measures here.