A shoe factory in Monforte de Lemos will manufacture some 3,000 masks in the coming days and will deliver them to the Monforte de Lemos City Council to be distributed among public service personnel and other groups that may need them.
The Calzados Losal facilities have been stopped since Monday 25th the Government of Spain decided to toughen the Alarm State and also stop non-essential industrial activity. This Monday they reopened, but only with a small number of volunteer personnel and with the activity focused solely on the production of these masks.
This company had requested the fabric to make the masks from the INESCOP footwear technology centre. This entity, based in Elda (Alicante), which offers technical advice to three hundred companies in the sector, acquired, after this crisis erupted, a large quantity of mask fabric to offer it to associated firms that wanted to refocus their activity on production of this protective equipment, given the difficulty of Chinese factories to cope with the avalanche of orders they are receiving from around the world.
INESCOP has been delivering almost all of its face mask fabric to the large Spanish footwear manufacturers, located mostly in Elche and in the Rioja town of Arnedo. Small companies like Calzados Losal have received smaller lots.
The roll of cloth that arrived this Monday at Monforte de Lemos gives between 2,500 and 3,000 masks. These are not the level 2 and 3 filter protectors that hospital personnel need, but rather masks similar to those commonly used in surgery. Each mask has several layers of the fabric that is commonly used in this type of protective clothing, but they do not have filters like those requested by health personnel.
Those responsible for Calzados Losal contacted the Monforte de Lemos Regional Hospital as soon as they had confirmation from INESCOP that they would receive the fabric, but when they explained to them at this health centre that they needed the other masks, they decided to offer them to the Monforte de Lemos City Council.
Finally, the masks manufactured by Calzados Losal will be distributed by the Monforte de Lemos City Council where the municipal officials consider that they are most needed.
Five people worked yesterday at the Calzados Losal factory, including the owners, Gonzalo López father and his son, of the same name.
They all do it voluntarily and selflessly. There cannot be many more because almost exclusively tools are used to make the masks located in the cutting area of the factory.
They all wear masks and gloves, but they cannot work more than four or five people at a time because the space is limited.
The managers of the company already have an offer from neighbours willing to collaborate with them in the steps of preparing the masks that do not require technical training.
“For cutting the fabric and sewing you have to know how to use the machinery, but there are two more steps, the placement of the metal parts that allow you to adjust the mask to the nose and the final finish with the cutting of the protruding threads, practically anyone can do it», explains Gonzalo Jr.
Neither the company nor any of the volunteers who will visit the factory these days will charge anything for this work.
“We had the facilities stopped and we have people and material to do it, so we decided to put our grain of sand to help overcome this difficult situation”.