Prof. Zeev Rotstein has been in isolation since last week, after four passengers on his El Al flight from Dubai to Israel tested positive for the novel coronavirus. But, Rotstein, the head of Hadassah-University Medical Center told The Jerusalem Post that he does not believe he can be infected by the virus because he was wearing a Health Ministry-approved mask that repels and even decomposes biological materials.

The mask, developed by the Israeli Institute for Biological Research – the same institute that is developing Brilife, Israel’s coronavirus vaccine – together with Hadassah and the start-up Tera Novel, is a surgical face mask with active antiviral and antibacterial protection. It has been shown to be 99.999% effective against corona, the hospital said.

The tests of the effectiveness of the technology were performed in a dedicated department of the biological institute, even before the spread of the coronavirus. The mask was verified and approved by the Health Ministry in recent days.

The technology, known as “GERMS OVER,” has a global patent. The innovative antiseptic disinfectant was originally developed for the IDF to deal with biological warfare.

During the pandemic, Hadassah helped promote the technology to develop a mask that could be used by doctors, nurses and other medical staff who are at the forefront of the fight against coronavirus. In a release, the hospital explained that the masks are now available to the public so that they can be protected against coronavirus, and that they could even play a role in opening the skies – although Rotstein’s wearing one did not keep him out of isolation.

The technology, Hadassah said, could also be applied in a variety of other applications, such as paint, building materials, plastics or other textile materials.

In May, the Post reported that the technology was being piloted in Bnei Brak to disinfect mikvaot (ritual baths) during the coronavirus crisis.

This is not the first Israeli mask designed to effectively combat the coronavirus.

In October, the Israeli-invented SonoMask, developed by the company Sonovia, displayed an ability to neutralize the novel coronavirus at an effectiveness of 99.34% in trials performed by the internationally accredited ATCC Testing laboratory.

Sonovia’s reusable antiviral masks are coated with zinc oxide nanoparticles. The results showed that the mask has the ability to neutralize fallen traces of coronavirus within 30 minutes after making contact with the fabric.

Earlier this month, Sonovia completed its initial public offering, attracting a total of NIS 55.9 million ($20.4 m.) in investments. The company, which began as an unknown start-up at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, was first written about by the Post. Since then, the SonoMask has been recognized by the US Food and Drug Administration and used and written about all over the world.

This article originally appeared in the Jerusalem Post on 19th December 2020. Click here to view the original