Watch: Meet the Romanian making face masks in a bid to stop spread of COVID-19

Roxana Curic is sewing facemasks for care workers
Roxana Curic is sewing facemasks for care workers Copyright Jack Parrock
Copyright Jack Parrock
By Jack Parrock
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Self-isolation has prompted many people to use their skills to support the battle against the novel coronavirus.


As millions of people across Europe remain at home, some have decided to do whatever they can to support the fight against COVID 19.

One Romanian seamstress who lives in Belgium is making face masks to try to do her bit.

Roxana Curic says the ones she's sewing are to be used by care workers in nursing homes and by people who have to continue to work in public.

Following advice from medical professionals and experts, Curic is not saying these masks should be considered as a fail-safe product – they are intended to add an additional layer of support and comfort.

The masks follow the design of usual face masks and are made from cotton but Curic has included a layer of non-woven fabric which is often used to wrap trees in the winter to protect them from humidity.

In three days work, the seamstress is able to make 60 or so masks and while she’s given most of them out to care workers, she will also give them to members of the public for a small donation to cover her costs.

Curic moved to the town of Mechelen in Belgium a number of years ago from Romanian and lives there with her family.

She says she wants to contribute to the community’s effort in fighting the COVID-19 coronavirus: “I came to Belgium to be a part of Belgium and to help and to integrate into this society.”

Belgium has been on a partial lockdown since noon on Tuesday 17 March following France, Spain and Italy in Europe.

Many people in the country have been self-isolating for longer than that.

Curic says she’s very accustomed to staying home to work as she uses her home as a seamstress studio and is alone for much of her working life.

People in Belgium are only allowed to leave the house to go shopping, to the doctors, to exercise or if they absolutely cannot work from home.

The measures will remain in place in the country until 5 April.

Experts have told Euronews that if you are infected with COVID-19, masks can be effective in stopping you spread germs. But, unless they are biological grade, masks are less effective at protecting the wearer from the virus.

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