A Ballykelly-based company has responded to the increased demand for personal protective equipment and is now producing a million face masks a week.
The family behind the hugely successful company that already produces clinical chairs, Seating Matters, has founded Paragon Health.
After seeing the need for high-quality medical masks, the family has redesigned and expanded the medical device factory to produce disposable medical masks under the banner of Paragon Health.
The factory now produces these masks for domestic use and for export.
The Tierney family has invested significantly in the new company, which director Martin Tierney said created 25 jobs in the construction phase and provided security to the factory workers.
He said: “In the current environment, our health, transportation, retail and hospitality industries cannot continue to function based on imports of personal protective equipment from abroad.
“We currently export to Australia, the US, the UK and Ireland. About half of our total products are sold in the UK and Ireland.
We saw the need for high quality medical masks which is why we established one of the largest medical mask manufacturing units in the UK to supply our health professionals, the public, tourists and travelers. In Northern Ireland alone, the demand for personal protective equipment is huge and it would be great to see our local health needs met by a local company that provides local jobs.
“It is of course our goal to provide as much employment as possible in the area.”
In preparation for the production of the face masks, the company had to build a cleanroom, production area, sterilization facility and decontamination chamber.
Mr. Tierney continues, “In the challenging times caused by this coronavirus pandemic, Paragon Heath is poised to play a key role in returning to work safely and providing personal protective equipment for future waves of Covid-19.
“We become a long-term PPE manufacturer and supply to local and foreign markets.
“With a capacity of over 1,000,000 masks per week, we have the ability to meet local demand and export items around the world.”