Tuesday | 07 Apr 2020

Family business breathes life into Covid-19 fight

Junior WRC driver Enrico Oldrati’s family business is helping save lives by producing emergency breathing ventilators at its Italian premises to fight the Covid-19 crisis.

The Oldrati Group makes full-face snorkelling masks in its regular day-to-day business. With the addition of a small 3D printed part, the devices have been transformed into ventilators which are now being used in hospitals globally in the battle against the disease.

Using the Charlotte Valve developed by technology company Isinnova, the Oldrati Group created a mould to produce the valve in large numbers and convert the masks into Easy-Covid19 ventilators.

Although its production departments are based in the provinces of Bergamo and Brescia in northern Italy, where the virus has taken a heavy toll, the Oldrati Group threw open the doors of its closed business and converted production lines to begin manufacturing.

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After being given the green light following testing by doctors, the company has donated 2,000 Easy-Covid19 kits and 10,000 valves to hospitals.

As well as requests for help in Italy, the worst-hit country globally where almost 16,000 deaths have occurred according to World Health Organization figures, pleas for help have been received from Spain, France, Tunisia, Egypt and Nigeria.

Oldrati, who finished just outside the points in the opening FIA Junior WRC round in Sweden in February, urged the rally community to continue fighting the virus.

The Oldrati Group is converting snorkelling masks into ventilators

“The tragedies of these recent days are unfortunately well known around the world and I think all of us have already been touched by the disasters caused by Covid-19,” he said.

“Despite Covid-19, the past few weeks at the Oldrati Group we have been holding on and we have not wanted to give up. We wanted to fight. We are proud to help people and help to save lives.

“To everyone in the world and the rallying community, stay strong, stay home, speak to your friends and family to see if they are OK and together we will all beat this,” he added.

Oldrati urged fans to keep their minds busy during the lockdowns in place in many countries.

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“This can be working, exercising or cooking but keep your mind focused on achieving a goal, even if it is a small goal per day.

“Personally besides working I’m watching Netflix and imagining myself as the main character which is actually quite fun. I’m also still training myself through WRC 8,” he added.