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Government to distribute second CuMask+™ to residents for free
     The Innovation and Technology Bureau (ITB) announced today (September 11) that the Government will distribute the second adult-sized CuMask+™ to eligible citizens for free starting next Monday (September 14).
     For Hong Kong residents who registered online for the CuMask+™ during the period from May 6 to June 6 this year, the Government will deliver the second mask to them if they have given consent during registration to the Government for using their registration data for distribution of other masks, and have had the first mask successfully delivered to them by Hongkong Post.
     The main registrant will receive an SMS message, which comes with a tracking number before delivery of the mailed item. Hongkong Post will deliver the mask(s) to the address provided by the main registrant within three working days after the SMS is sent. If the registered address has an independent letter box of sufficient size, the postman will insert the mail item into the letter box. Otherwise, the postman will deliver it to the door. If an attempt at door delivery fails, Hongkong Post will issue a collection notification card to the addressee. The addressee or his/her agent may bring along the notification card, together with the required identity document stated thereon, to collect the item from the designated post office from the second working day following the issue date of the notification card.
     Upon completion of the second round of delivery from Hongkong Post, citizens who have not collected the CuMask+™ may collect it at the designated collection points in person or authorise others to do so on their behalf starting early October. Details and the exact date will be announced later.
     The CuMask+™ was developed by the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA). Prior to the first round of distribution, the CuMask+™ had undergone testing by an internationally accredited laboratory, which confirms that the mask complies with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) F2100 Level 1 standard in terms of Particle Filtration Efficiency (PFE), Bacteria Filtration Efficiency (BFE), resistance to penetration by synthetic blood, flammability, and pressure resistance, and is reusable for up to 60 times. 
     "The distribution of the CuMask+™ commercialises the local research and development (R&D) outcome and its application in fighting against the pandemic. In order to safeguard local R&D and reassure citizens that the CuMask+™ is safe to use, we subsequently provided the CuMask+™ to Nelson Laboratories, LLC in the United States for further testing. The results also show that the quality of the mask still complies with relevant international standards in terms of PFE and BFE before it is washed and after it has been washed for 40 and 60 times, confirming again that the mask suffices for daily protection in the community.
     "We are aware that some citizens have confused micro-copper with nano-copper. We would like to reiterate that the anti-bacterial layer of the mask contains micro-copper, but not nano-copper. Micro-copper is a thousand times bigger than nano-copper. In view of public concerns over the safety of copper substances in the CuMask+™, the HKRITA has also commissioned a locally accredited laboratory to conduct tests under a setup of simulated breathing devices to find out whether the CuMask+™ would release copper substances during normal breathing by users. The results show that no copper substances have been released before the mask is washed and after it has been washed for 20, 40 and 60 times. In fact, the micro-copper in the anti-bacterial layer has been embedded in the fibres during the spinning process. Therefore, the micro-copper is tightly wrapped by the fibres and could hardly shed. Citizens do not have to worry about breathing in related substances,” a spokesman for the Innovation and Technology Bureau said.
     Relevant testing reports have been uploaded onto the CuMask+™ website.
     For information about the CuMask+™ or other enquiries, please visit the CuMask+™ website (qmask.gov.hk). Members of the public may also call the hotline at 3142 2313 or check via the WhatsApp Helpline 9617 1823.
Ends/Friday, September 11, 2020
Issued at HKT 19:42
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