BUSINESS

Greek company offers face protection

VANGELIS MANDRAVELIS

TAGS: Business, Coronavirus

Tetraform is a small company based in Kilkis, Central Macedonia, and is among the few enterprises to have discerned and seized a business opportunity in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.

It is the only company in Greece that is producing large numbers of plastic face shields, which protect the wearer from droplets containing the Covid-19 virus and make it harder for them to touch their face.

Until today, production was solely directed toward healthcare staff and institutions, but as countries start to emerge from their lockdowns new markets for the Greek corporation will soon emerge.

Originally Tetraform did not have face shield production among its activities; these included industrial printing and the production of heat-expandable plastics.

The idea of anti-coronavirus products came from the president of the Panhellenic Medical Association, Athanasios Exadaktylos, who told Tetraform founder Nikos Tseklidis about the huge needs healthcare staff face in terms of protection gear, asking him how his company could assist.

At first Tetraform was reluctant to produce the face shields, but the decision was made when Thessaloniki’s AHEPA hospital ordered the first batch of 2,500. Since then output has soared.

More than 100,000 face shields have been produced since the start of April, with pending orders exceeding 40,000 items. “We are producing 6,000 shields per day,” says Tseklidis, noting that the above orders just about meet the requirements of healthcare staff in Greece.

However, the actual market for the face shields is much bigger: The company will sell them to professionals in other sectors as the lockdown lifts: Hairdressers, electricians and waiters are among the additional professions that could use Tetraform’s products, not only in Greece but also abroad. Orders have already started coming in from Germany, Cyprus and Serbia.

Tetraform’s only competitors are in China and they control this particular market, Tetraform officials admit while noting that very few producers have their products certified with Europe’s CE mark, as Tetraform’s shields are, which is a key advantage for the Greek company’s products.

The retail price of a Tetraform face shield ranges between 4 and 7 euros, depending on the seller. The high price is due to the material and the improved protection it offers compared to conventional surgical masks.

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