Bangladeshi-branded KN95 masks hit market


Dailynewsun Desk:

JMI Hospital Requisite Manufacturing Ltd, a sister concern of the JMI Group and a leading manufacturer of medical equipment in the country, has launched the first ever locally-made KN95 masks to help contain the spread of novel coronavirus.

The antivirus item was launched through a colorful and vibrant ceremony at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka city on Monday, said a press release.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal attended the event as the chief guest and Shwadhinata Chikitsa Parishad President Prof Dr Iqbal Arslan as the special guest.

The home minister said, “Despite learning about KN95 masks so many days, now we have world-class masks of this kind in hand. JMI has scripted history by bringing in KN95 masks in local market.”

He gave all the credits to JMI Group Managing Director Abdur Razzaq for his visionary leadership to this end. The home boss also thanked JMI Group for supplying safety gears to Wuhan city of Hubei province in China, after Covid-19 first outbroke there.

He said: “The managing director Abdur Razzaq struggled with his company and made a comeback. I think the two young men, Razzaq and Md Jabed Iqbal Pathan (Chairman of JMI group) will take this company forward as well as brighten the name of Bangladesh in global arena with ‘Made in Bangladesh’ products.”

“Having complied with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’ instructions, Bangladesh has set an example by being one of the top countries that successfully tackled the coronavirus pandemic.

Iqba Arslan said there was slack preparations to contain the virus at the outset.

“But JMI was there by us at that time. JMI supplied 4 lakh swabs—an equipment used while collecting saliva— within a few days after the pandemic surfaced,” he said.

On the KN95 masks, he said, “We’ve been 100% dependent on imported KN95 masks. But from now on, JMI will give this life-saving item to the people at an affordable cost—an outcome of the company’s commitment and vigorous aim to serve the countrymen.

JMI Group Chairman Md Javed Iqbal Pathhan in his welcome speech said samples of nearly 10,000 policemen were tested at the RTPCR machine belonging to DNA Solution, another sister concern of JMI Group.

“Furthermore, prescriptions for the treatment of Covid-19 were also provided. A number of researchers and teachers sequenced genome of coronavirus at the lab of DNA Solution, gathering crucial information about the deadly virus.

Detailing their product, JMI Group Managing Director Abdur Razzaq said the KN-95 mask contains five layers, with a three-tier filter paper in it.

“After trial production, the mask was tested at separate labs both at home and abroad, to ensure the best quality,” he said.

Chinese KN95 masks, Abdur Razzaq said, are currently priced at around Tk300 in Bangladeshi market, but JMI would charge just Tk100 for the same quality masks.

“We helped Bangladesh government by supplying international standard facemasks and other necessary medical equipment soon after the country’s first three Covid-19 cases were detected last year, and also when the coronavirus fatality rate started to increase,” he recalled.

Razzaq termed the contribution unique as no other organization could do so at that highly critical situation.

N95, KN95 or FATP2 masks, which are highly effective in combating Covid-19, are normally manufactured in the US, China, Japan, South Korea and some European countries. JMI produced KN95 masks maintaining the standard as China, while there is no parameters or policies of making such masks in Bangladesh. JMI launched the product after nearly a yearlong process.

Chinese apparel maker Liz Fashion partnered with JMI in making the masks. JMI has the capacity to manufacture about 40,000 KN95 masks every day. Mentionable, JMI Group has been manufacturing medical and treatment equipment for the past 21 years.