Civil protection collects Decathlon diving masks, in Italy, on March 30, 2020. - Elio Villa / AGF / SIPA

A diving mask to overcome the shortage of equipment. As of Monday evening, Decathlon “blocked” online sales of its “Easybreath” diving mask in France. The brand plans to offer 30,000 to caregivers who want to "adapt" in the fight against the Covid-19, announced management.

This full-face mask, usually used for snorkeling - underwater exploration with mask and snorkel - "is of interest to hospitals, universities or research centers facing the Covid-19 epidemic". They plan to "adapt it in two ways: either to protect the nursing staff who lack medical masks, or to modify it and connect it to a respirator," told AFP a spokeswoman for the management of Decathlon. .

A valve prototype created in Italy

The idea was born in Italy, the country most bereaved by the pandemic. With “initially 500 masks offered” by the Italian branch of Decathlon. A hospital has produced a prototype equipped with a valve installed in place of the tuba, at the top of the mask, making it possible to make the connection with a respirator and to supply a patient with pressurized air.

"For the past few days, we have been contacted by several dozen hospitals and research centers in Italy, France, but also in Belgium, in Germany, (…) who also want to recover masks for carrying out tests", a continued this spokesperson.

Swimming goggles towards the very affected regions

Monday evening, the French branch of Decathlon therefore "blocked sales" to individuals of this product which "is one of the bestsellers" and whose sales have soared in recent weeks, to "provide free caregivers and emergency personnel ”the 30,000 masks currently in stock. "30,000 pairs of swimming goggles" will also be offered and "for reasons of speed of delivery of these donations, we are focusing our efforts in the regions currently most affected by Covid-19: Ile-de-France, Hauts- de-France, Grand Est, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, ”said Decathlon in a statement to AFP.

To organize distribution as well as possible, Decathlon invites all caregivers who wish to make their requests to an email address created for the occasion: Decathlon also makes the technical plans for the facial mask available to hospitals and research centers.


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