The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has brought the whole world to a halt during the past few weeks. Sri Lanka has also been battling the virus hard using well-organized systems, despite the low resource setting of the country. Doctors and other health professionals are tirelessly working to treat the patients and to prevent the spread of the virus while putting themselves at risk.

Keshara Weerasinghe, a third-year undergraduate from the Department of Computer Engineering University of Peradeniya has designed and implemented a Face Shield to ensure the safety of the medical professionals who have committed their lives for the benefit of the patients. The designed Face Shield would prevent the respiratory droplets of the patients getting into contact with the medical professionals and would minimize the risk they are exposed to.

“A Face Shield is an essential component of personal protective equipment that we use and is very hard to find in the market these days,” says Doctor Sudarshana Wickramasinghe Medical Officer at the Teaching Hospital Peradeniya, emphasizing the need of the product in Sri Lanka at this time.

Keshara has initially 3D printed the design as a prototype to visualize the concept. Although 3D printing worked fine for the prototype, it is not suitable for mass-scale production. And with the help of the medical and production professionals, he has now moved onto more economical methods of producing the designed Face Shield in Sri Lanka and has now distributed the Face Shields to many hospitals across the Island, including Army Hospital, Kandy General Hospital, Nawalapitiya, Mawanella and Kegalle District Hospitals.

Developing an actual usable product out of a prototype invention of a university student is a highly demanding task, given the situation of a country where going out from home even is not permitted. But the pure dedication and never-say-die attitude of Keshara has kept it going and is continuing to benefit the country and the health of all people.

Keshara is especially thankful to the lecturers of the Department of Computer Engineering for their immense support and encouragement given to sail through the rough storm.

Reported by: Nithya Kularathne

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