Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Wakamono ‘anti-viral’ face masks set to join the Kingdom’s battle against Covid-19

Wakamono ‘anti-viral’ face masks set to join the Kingdom’s battle against Covid-19

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Wakamono ‘anti-viral’ face masks set to join the Kingdom’s battle against Covid-19

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Face masks designed to reduce viral transmission, offering another level of defence against the spread of Covid-19 – with “the ability to prevent viruses from entering the human body” – are making their entry into the Cambodian market.

Wakamono Corporation masks are in-built with a substance that traps viruses from passing through, preventing them from multiplying and eventually “killing” them, according to the company’s website.

Vietnam-based Wakamono produces high filtration masks embedded with a “gecide” fabric purporting strong antibacterial and antiviral properties – providing an extra weapon in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

The gecide fabric is a non-woven, anti-microbial material which can destroy the pathogenic bacteria that cause diseases in humans, the company stated.

The mask is imported by Anana Group and sold under the brand Faceline Cambodia.

“We donated 170,000 masks to the Ministry of Commerce and another 120,000 pieces to the Techo Young Volunteer Doctors Association in April.

“We also support Cambodia in fighting the Covid-19 by distributing masks to frontline health workers, police and military personnel, and those living in the red zone areas,” said Sok​ Channda, the co-owner of Anana and Faceline Cambodia.

According to Wakamono, the company has obtained US Food and Drugs Administration approval and the European Union’s CE conformity, with private testing bodies Pacific Bio Labs in the US, Canada’s Bureau Veritas and Germany’s TUV SUD also passing quality and safety certifications.

Approvals have in addition been obtained from private laboratories in India and Vietnam, while testing has also been successfully carried out in China, she added.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Wakamono conducted extensive testing that shows the masks can filter Covid-19 and kill the virus. Supplied

Anana has obtained approval from the Ministry of Commerce to sell the four-layered masks on the domestic market while it awaits the Ministry of Health’s consent, said Channda.

Covid-19 particles are estimated to be 0.12 microns, and having tested the filtration capacity as per PFE (particle filtration efficiency) tests of ASTM F2100 for an average particle size 0.1 μm (micrometres), the Wakamono mask blocks at least 98 per cent of very small (0.1 micron) tested particles, the company stated.

With a virus filtration efficiency of around 98 per cent against strains including the SARS-CoV-2 virus – which causes the Covid-19 coronavirus disease – the NL63 and 229E human coronaviruses, influenza A and H1N1, and poliovirus 1, the sub-micron particulate filtration efficiency is around 98 per cent, it added.

Researchers spent around a year developing the ultra-soft, easily breathable masks that have the ability to prevent viruses from entering the human body, Wakamono said. At present they are being sold across Asia and in other international markets.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Researchers spent nearly a year developing the mask. Supplied

Some of the other features of the masks include a nose bridge that prevents sliding and the fogging of eyewear, comfortable elastic ear bands and a fluid protection membrane layer, while high permeability prevents skin irritation.

And with safety now more important than ever, the new products are reasonably priced at $2 per box of 10 masks.

“During this time profit is only secondary – we see the need for providing better protective equipment to people as taking a much higher priority.

“Wakamono has been marketing this product globally and is confident that manufacturing can keep up with the demand, especially as Cambodia is very close [to Vietnam],” said Channda, who is also the president and CEO of Angkor Data Communications.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Wakamono masks are made using gecide fabric that offers strong protection. supplied


  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Cambodia's poverty cut in half from 2009 to 2019: World Bank report

    A report published by the World Bank on November 28 states that Cambodia’s national poverty rate fell by almost half between 2009 and 2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic recently reversed some of the poverty reduction progress. Cambodia’s poverty rate dropped from 33.8 to 17.8 per cent over the 10