Chef Nandu Jubany and the company specialized in high-quality kitchen clothing CSTY have designed solidarity masks to raise funds for research against the new coronavirus. The masks, especially intended for the catering industry and with a drawn smile, can be purchased through the web www.csty.es. Equivalent to a hygienic mask, they are made with the highest quality materials and can be purchased in boxes of five units.
These are washable and reusable masks, corresponding to the UNE 0065: 2,020 standard. They are indicated for adults without COVID-19 symptoms and who are not susceptible to using surgical or filter masks that, according to the WHO, it is preferable to reserve for health personnel. The masks have a hygienic and barrier function to help prevent the spread of respiratory droplets expelled when coughing, sneezing, or speaking. Therefore, they are an additional protection measure to the most effective preventive measures: the safety distance from other people and frequent hand hygiene.
The funds raised from the sale of the masks will be used for research projects that, from the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) together with the Bellvitge University Hospital (HUB) and the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), They have been launched in recent weeks to curb the epidemic and prevent further outbreaks.
The chef explains that the idea of masks arose from the need that the catering sector will have, both to protect professionals and clients, when the situation allows the activity. Regarding the smile, Jubany affirms: “This crisis has been devastating for many families and companies and I think it is important that we all try to regain happiness. One day I saw my good friend Carlos Tejedor who had drawn a smile on his mask. And I thought it was a very good idea! Laughter has been shown that is contagious. So when a professional and a client or two cooks meet with the mask on, we want to transmit the smile instead of the virus”.
IDIBELL, leaders in the investigation against COVID-19
The investigation is a key piece in the fight against the new coronavirus to prevent the number of cases from skyrocketing. At IDIBELL, under the motto #BellvitgeInvestiga, they have redirected all efforts to achieve a solution in the short and long term. “We have about 40 studies underway that attempt to cover all angles of attack on SARS-CoV-2, from genetic analysis of the most severe patients or those who have overcome the disease, to innovative therapeutic strategies and clinical trials that have already been started”, says Dr. Gabriel Capellá, Director of IDIBELL. “Donations will allow us to accelerate the most promising projects,” he concludes.
To explain some of the projects in more detail, the chef will interview the scientists over the next few weeks. “My idea is to talk to researchers while I cook so that people know where the money is going to end up,” explains Jubany.
Examples of ongoing projects
The project led by researcher Rafael Máñez, a researcher at IDIBELL and Head of the Intensive Medicine Service at HUB, in collaboration with RemAb Therapeutics and IrsiCaixa, to develop a new glycopolymer-based drug that facilitates the action of neutralizing antibodies against SARS- CoV-2 and prevent it from infecting host cells.
Study of the genome of COVID-19 patients to determine the genetic profile of people who develop Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. The project, led by Jordi Carratalá, a researcher at IDIBELL and Head of the Infectious Diseases Service at HUB, has the collaboration of the Hospital del Mar Institute for Medical Research (IMIM).
A clinical trial with a combination of drugs already on the market
Xavier Solanich, IDIBELL researcher and HUB internal medicine specialist, is leading a study using two drugs that suppress the immune system and already approved by other indications in 84 patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia and high analytical inflammatory parameters.
Chemoprevention trial of coronavirus infection in healthcare workers
Esteve Fernández, Director of Epidemiology and Cancer Prevention at ICO and Coordinator of IDIBELL’s Epidemiology and Public Health Program, is leading a clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine (a well-known drug used in other diseases) as pre-exposure prevention of coronavirus infection in at-risk workers.