Volunteers donate 3D- printed face shields for frontliners

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 24, 2020   •   881

MANILA, Philippines — There is an apparent shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) supply in the country amid its deadly battle with COVID-19.

Some private hospitals have resorted to using old linen as improvised masks due to the supply deficit.

And like an unexpected twist in a movie, a group of individuals banded together to help the country’s frontliners by providing PPEs through 3D printing.

“Ang paggawa ng mabuti ay hindi magbubunga ng masama, (Good deeds will bear no evil fruit)” Roniel Tamayo said.

Roniel is part of the 3D Printing For a Cause group in the Philippines where hobbyists and business owners use their 3D printers to make DIY face shields and face masks.

He recalled that they saw a video of 3D printers abroad being used to make oxygen bags for COVID patients.

“From there, siguro naka-isip iyong creator ng group na ‘Bakit hindi natin gawin iyan dito sa Pilipinas? Mag-print din tayo ng magagamit ng mga frontliners natin kasi kulang sila sa mga PPE’ (The creator of the group said, ‘Why not do that here in the Philippines? We should print items that can be used by our frontliners because they lack PPEs),” he said.

As of March 23, the group has received more than 13,000 face shield requests from hospitals, clinics, as well as from the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Roniel said the group has fulfilled 2,123 requests with 15.25% fulfillment rate.

It is not yet half the total number of requests, but the group is facing another obstacle: lack of materials.

Roniel said due to the temporary closure of office supply stores, they are finding it difficult to find acetate that will be attached to the 3D-printed headbands to form the face shield for the frontliners.

The group is looking for anyone who wish to donate materials so that they could continue their cause.

“Sa mga mamamayan po na gustong tumulong or mag-donate, pwede po kayong mag-donate ng acetate, garter, foam, at iyong mga filament na siyang pangunahin namin ginagamit para sa pag-print nitong face shields, (For citizens who wish to help or donate, you may send acetates, garters, foams and filaments which we mainly use for creating face shields),” he said.

For volunteers contact Denis Ty at 09175908281 and for donations contact Ivan Listanco at 09177754993.-AAC

LOOK: The last supermoon of 2020

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 8, 2020

People across the globe witnessed the last supermoon of 2020.

The supermoon, which is also called as the flower moon, occurred on Thursday (May 7). According to PAGASA, the moon is at its nearest distance to the Earth.

Several netizens posted their own shots of the supermoon.

Robocop-style helmets help Rome airport check passenger temperatures from a distance

UNTV News   •   May 7, 2020

Helmets are a common sight in Rome, worn by the thousands of vespa riders whizzing around the ancient city.

But now you’ll see them inside the main international airport too.

Fiumicino is now the first in Europe to use ‘smart helmets’ to check the temperature of travellers – helmets equipped with portable thermoscanners that can screen people for symptoms of the new coronavirus at a very safe distance of up to 7 metres.

Airport staff wear the big black Robocop-style helmets along with masks, gloves and their uniforms – and like the 1987 icon, they too are helping to protect their citizens.

Attached to the helmets are a camera and a thermoscanner that can measure body temperature.

A view of the scan is transmitted to the visor inside the augmented reality helmet, so whoever is wearing it can see the full body scan right in front of their eyes.

“This is a smart helmet, a helmet equipped with a thermal camera capable of detecting the infrared heat emissions of bodies passing through its range and a normal camera,” explained Massimiliano Moretto, senior engineer of Sielte Spa, one of the companies that developed the helmet.

“It is able to detect the temperature of the single person but also of groups and can signal to the operator if there is a person with a temperature above a threshold set by the Italian National Institute of Health,” he said.

So far, three smart helmets are operational in the airport, used by staff walking around the terminals.

They hope to increase the number to five in the near future as passengers gradually begin to start travelling again.

The same type of helmets are already in use in airports in Asia.

Fiumicino airport has ramped up its safety measures after Italy began ‘phase two’ on Monday (May 4), a gradual lifting of its strict lockdown measures that have been in place for almost two months, sanitising every nook and cranny of the terminals from the roads outside to the suitcase trollies.

Fiumicino is Italy’s busiest. In 2019 it had over 43.5 million passengers and in January of this year, there were over 2.7 million passengers in just one month.

Since the COVID-19 crisis, passengers are down by over 95 percent compared to the same period last year. The airport closed Terminal 1 in March and has massively downsized their boarding areas.

Despite the slight relaxation of the rules, the airport was still near-deserted on Wednesday (May 6), after two months of being virtually closed for business while tourists are banned from entering and Italians stay at home. (Reuters)

(Production: Cristiano Corvino, Emily Roe)

Baguio store owner initiates urban farming using recycled bottles amid ECQ

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 17, 2020

A minimart store owner in Barangay Asin Road, Baguio City has been helping his neighbors cope with the lockdown through urban farming.

Due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) residents are finding it difficult to live normal lives. Schools are suspended, several establishments are closed and everyone is worried about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Bradley Robuza’s store is among the establishments in Baguio hard hit by the COVID-19 crisis. He said only few customers are buying from their mini store since the ECQ.

The public market is also too far from their area so they have no choice but to settle with buying pricey raw foods in the nearest market.

But despite the struggles, Bradely and his sister Rizelle Hernandez found a way to share kindness with the whole neighborhood amid the crisis.

They began urban farming in front of their store using used plastic bottles. For two weeks they planted tomatoes, cauliflower, pineapple and more. They were able to collect over 200 seedlings which they give away for free to customers and other residents.

Image may contain: one or more people and plant
Courtesy Bradley Robuza

“Since wala naman na pong gaanong bumibili po ngayon sa amin kaya may mga oras po kami mag-farm. Lugi negosyo pero okay lang po mai-share po namin ang biyaya ng Dios, (Since we only have a few customers we have time to farm. Our business is not doing good but it is okay because we can still share God’s blessing)

Rizelle said they are giving away the seedlings so they can also start planting raw foods in their homes. Urban farming can also be helpful in case the ECQ will be further extended.

“Libre naman po namin pinatubo kaya libre din po namin ipamimigay, (We farmed it for free so we will give it away for free),” she said.

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and outdoor
Courtesy Bradley Robuza

Rizelle also said using plastic bottles also help in keeping the environment clean.

“Kaysa naman itapon namin iyong mga plastic bottles naisipan namin na diyan na lang namin itatanim para makabawas ng basura, (Instead of throwing out the plastic bottles, we thought we could use them for farming to lessen the litter),” she said.

More than 10 individuals have already benefited from their urban farm. Nelia Matuyog, a resident, is grateful for the free seedlings and said this is the right time to plant.

“May binigay din ang barangay kaya lang hindi kami nakaabot kaya thank you at meron [dito], (The barangay is also giving away [seedlings] but we were not able to get some so thank you for this),” she said. AAC

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