Egypt tech firm aids virus fight with 3D-printed face shields

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Aya Dessouky, public relations specialist at the Giza Systems Education Foundation, packs a newly-fabricated protective face shield, before sending it for use by medical professionals treating COVID-19 coronavirus patients, at their premises in the New Cairo suburb east of the Egyptian capital on April 8, 2020. (AFP)
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An engineer prepares cut plastic sheets before being assembled onto the crowns of protective face shields, to be used by medical professionals treating COVID-19 coronavirus patients, at the Giza Systems Education Foundation in the New Cairo suburb east of the Egyptian capital on April 8, 2020. (AFP)
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This picture taken on April 8, 2020 at the Giza Systems Education Foundation in the New Cairo suburb east of the Egyptian capital, shows 3D printers fabricating crowns of protective face shields, before being assembled to be delivered to medical professionals treating COVID-19 coronavirus patients. (AFP)
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Updated 28 April 2020

Egypt tech firm aids virus fight with 3D-printed face shields

  • The tech is designing a face shield that can be printed in plastic, cut out by laser and simply assembled

CAIRO: Many health care workers in Egypt’s threadbare hospital system must provide their own protective gear, so when a digital design company started 3-D printing face shields, they gratefully accepted.
Since the novel coronavirus first hit Egypt, medical doctor Yahya Diwer has been working all-night shifts as head of an intensive care unit in a Cairo hospital.
Around 100 COVID-19 cases have since passed through his Sheikh Zayed Al-Nahyan hospital, located in a low-income suburb of the capital, exposing staff to a heightened risk of contagion.
So when Diwer spotted a widely shared social media post by the Cairo-based tech company Giza Systems last month he was among the first to get in touch via Facebook.
The company uses digital printing technology mainly to produce assistive devices for people with disabilities, working in a lab called Project Nitrous.
With the arrival of the virus — which has by now infected over 4,000 people and claimed 300 lives in Egypt, according to government data — the company quickly jumped into action.
It designed a face shield that can be printed in plastic, cut out by laser and simply assembled, and started delivering the devices to thousands of doctors — for free.
“You feel safe wearing it and the design is sleek,” Diwer told AFP. “It’s easier than wearing a set of goggles and can be easily cleaned.”
Mohamed El Hossary, director of Giza Systems’ Education Foundation, said its usual work aims to create “everyday solutions for those with a disability.
“Since we have experience in assistive technology, we went down to hospitals and asked them what they needed, and that’s how we came up with manufacturing a face shield.”
The firm is now distributing around 2,000 face shields a day to medics nationwide and has partnerships with around 25 public and private hospitals.
Volunteers such as university student Abdel-Raziq Sabry, 21, help by packing the devices for shipment.
“You don’t want to be sitting at home doing nothing when you can be doing something to help doctors and society as well as the country,” he said.
The frontline efforts of Diwer’s team have been honored. His hospital was chosen by the health ministry as one of the major isolation wards where virus carriers can recover.
In a message he posted on Facebook, the doctor paid tribute to his staff as well as the tech company, saying that “we are so humbled and honored to fight for the people against COVID-19.”

LIVE: Middle East returns to normal life amid strict COVID-19 measures 

Updated 1 min 53 sec ago

LIVE: Middle East returns to normal life amid strict COVID-19 measures 

DUBAI: Efforts to return life gradually back to some kind of normality in parts of the Middle East continue, as governments get ready to reopen borders and airlines take bookings for flights. 
Tunisia said it will open its sea, land and air borders on June 27 in the hope of rescuing its tourism industry as the coronavirus pandemic comes under control.
Emirates airline also announced that it was taking bookings for flights from Dubai to 12 Arab countries from the start of July. Emirates began operating scheduled flight services to nine destinations around the world from May 21, including London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Chicago, Toronto, Sydney and Melbourne.
Meanwhile, Lebanon’s commercial complexes, hotels, cafes and museums reopened their doors to customers on Monday after closing for two-and-a-half months. 

June 2, Tuesday (GMT Times)

10:24 - Kuwait has confirmed 887 coronavirus cases and the recovery of 50 percent of total infected people.

10:22 - UAE has recorded 596 coronavirus cases and 388 recoveries.

09:43 - New reported cases of coronavirus are steadily declining in Western Europe, but not in Russia and Eastern Europe: World Health Organization spokeswoman said.

09:34 - Formula One has unveiled an eight-race schedule in Europe from July 5 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

09:32 - Iran has reported 64 coronavirus deaths, 3,117 cases, raising total infected people to 157,562 with 7,942 fatalities.

09:20 - The number of coronavirus deaths in Britain is close to 50,000, Reuters reported.

09:07 – Hong Kong will extend restrictions on foreign visitors by another three months and an eight-person limit on group gatherings by two weeks, Health Secretary Sophia Chan said on Tuesday.
Both measures were due to expire later in June.
Travellers to Hong Kong need to undergo a mandatory 14 day quarantine period.

08:45 – 12,739 people died from coronavirus in England and Wales as of May 22, the Office for National Statistics said.

08:16 – Senegal has postponed the restart of schools until further notice after several teachers tested positive for the new coronavirus, the education ministry said late on Monday.

07:51 – Russia has confirmed 8,863 coronavirus cases and 182 deaths in the past 24 hours.

07:02 – A Wuhan doctor who worked with coronavirus whistleblower Li Wenliang died of the virus last week, state media reported Tuesday, becoming China's first COVID-19 fatality in weeks.
07:00 Paris gets some of its pre-lockdown life back as cafes and restaurants partially reopen Tuesday.
06:51 – The global coronavirus death toll has topped 375,000, according to AFP tally.

06:45 – The first Rohingya refugee died from coronavirus in Bangladesh, an official said.

05:59Egypt has sanitized prisons and carried out tests on prisoners across the country after banning visits to help curb the spread of coronavirus, local daily Egypt Today reported.

05:50 – A cluster of nine coronavirus cases raised concerns in Hong Kong over renewed local transmission in a city that has been one of the most successful in keeping the pandemic under control. 

05:18 – The United States on Monday recorded 743 new coronavirus deaths in 24 hours, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, bringing its total to 105,099 since the global pandemic began.