A MONTH after its design came under fire from a leading hospital, CopperMask has released a “new and improved” version that purportedly fixes one of its most scrutinized features: the hole at the bottom of the mask.
An “enclosed filter” is among the three new features being touted by the revamped design (now colored white, perhaps as a way to distinguish from the previous copper-colored version). Publicity materials zoom in on the intact surface of the mask.
In addition, buyers will also get 5 new non-woven fabric filters, as well as a certificate of authenticity. Fake CopperMasks proliferated during the pandemic, with the National Bureau of Investigation even stepping in to help the brand last November to halt the sale of counterfeits.
CopperMask came under scrutiny last month, when people wearing them (along with tinted face shields) were banned from entering Makati Medical Center. The brand was specifically named in one posted bulletin, though on its official Facebook page, Makati Medical Center just mentioned “masks with exhalation valves, vents, slits, or holes.”
This advisory was echoed in a statement by the Philippine College of Physicians.
The Department of Health said that the masks are “not medical grade,” but said that as a face mask that acts as a physical barrier against droplets, it can still prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In an explanation published in the Inquirer, CopperMasks not being medical grade means that it is not “recommended and approved for use in medical settings such as hospitals, health care facilities and high-risk contaminated areas.”
The new and improved CopperMasks retail for P380 for one box, which contains one mask.