face mask coronavirus

A pizza operator, Dimitri Syrkin-Nikolau, has risen up against the spread of coronavirus in a very creative and unconventional way.

On Monday, March 16, the businessman had to close shop in obedience to the government’s directive that all non-essential service providers must suspend services.

Dimitri said that since he could no longer operate, his business lost 70% of its revenue. He, however, said that he agreed with the necessary measure to save lives.

After following the news that there is a worldwide shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health officials who are at the frontline of dealing with the outbreak, he thought of a way to solve the situation.

He said when he came up with the idea of turning his pizza shop into a PPE producing place, many people never really believed in his idea.

“It seems unlikely that a pizza shop is going to be able to produce PPE, but the more I talked to people… It seems far-fetched but it’s not,” he said.

A collage of Syrikin and his worker who is about to deliver the company's made masks. Photo source: BBC News

To make his idea into reality, he consulted with some of his engineer friends and had to get large sheets of acrylic.

With those sheets, they are able to use their pizza oven to heat them up so they are soft enough and malleable into the right mask shape.

Syrikin-Nikolau said that they have been able to make some orders for small organisations like care homes and some paediatrics practices.

The pizza maker said that he could make 3,000 masks every week. He, however, said that he cannot afford to give the masks away as he has to keep paying his employees.

He is, therefore, selling for $3 (N1,168.50) per one as a way to keep his company afloat.