Ferrari have announced that the Maranello factory will be repurposed in the fight against the COVID-19 global pandemic. The factory, where car prototypes are developed in normal times, will now produce respirator valves and fittings for masks for medical personnel and patients in Italy.
This is the latest in a series of aid measures that the Agnelli family, owners of the Ferrari F1 team and road car business (along with Juventus FC and FIAT Chrysler), have taken to combat the pandemic.
Interestingly, some of the fittings produced at Maranello will be used to convert snorkel masks from Decathlon into preventive aids for healthcare workers. The valves are also developed by a diving equipment manufacturer, so the fittings can be used with these diving masks to create “emergency masks” to assist patients.
According to a report from CNA, the idea to repurpose diving masks came from Italian engineers, amid shortages of protective gear for medical personnel around the world. Some of these valves and parts are produced using 3D printing technologies, according to the report.
“In the next few days, Ferrari plans to manufacture several hundred items of equipment that are already being distributed by some of the companies involved, with the coordination of the Italian Civil Protection, to various Italian hospitals including those in Bergamo, Genoa, Modena, and Sassuolo as well as to health workers in the town of Medicina, near Bologna.”
The masks will be distributed through various companies in Italy to Italian hospitals in Beragmo, Genoa, Modena, Sassuolo, and Bologna. Italy is one of the hardest-hit countries by the coronavirus, with 178,972 confirmed cases, along with 23,660 deaths reported at the time of writing.
As healthcare personnel work around the clock to treat infected patients, there have been shortages in available face masks due to the sudden and drastic surge in demand. While Italy hopes to be self-sufficient with increased mask production soon, innovative workarounds like the one discussed here continue to play an important role in the fight against COVID-19.
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