Abolfazl Ghanjani, the owner of the Diba Parcham Khomeini flag factory, explained that initially the coronavirus had been considered a joke in social networks. However, his factory decided to use this joke to its own advantage and reoriented production.
“When the coronavirus epidemic started in Iran, there were only jokes in Telegram saying that if Iranians started producing face masks instead of American and Israeli flags, the country would satisfy the demand for them by new year (21 March in Iran). At first it looked like a joke, but it reflected the fact that the modern society is facing new challenges, including supporting our people amid the current difficult conditions. We also remembered that low-quality masks are sold at high prices and came up with the idea of producing medical masks at our factory. We quickly got a license, and now we have no problems apart from high demand and limited production volume,” he said.
The factory owner pointed out that at first glance, the production of flags and masks have nothing in common: “However, if we look at the production process and the components, we’ll see that there are some common features in the manufacturing process, such as cutting, sewing, packaging etc. Of course, my experience in flag production also affected the production of masks, but nevertheless, a detailed study and the development of the process have contributed greatly to the success. We produce 8 to 10 thousand masks every day for 12 hours.”
Ghanjani assured that the masks have been licensed by the Food and Drug Administration of Iran: “They are 100% hygienic, and consist of three layers of materials approved by the Iranian Ministry of Health. My new workshop is located in an environmentally safe village by the city of Khomeyn (325 km southwest of Tehran). The raw materials are produced in Iran; there are no serious problems regarding the supplies. The masks are sold via money transfers from the Food and Drug Administration to drug stores and medical equipment supply centres. Some masks are sold to rural residents. Of course, we sell to hospitals and medical centres. Part of the manufactured products are distributed for free.” According to the factory owner, the factory could also produce medical wear if necessary: “There is a corresponding factory in the region. But so far this hasn’t been a special need. Therefore, now we’re using all our capacities to produce medical masks.”