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Central Japan company making face shields for newborns to ward off coronavirus

A baby named Genta is seen wearing a face shield designed to protect newborns from the novel coronavirus, as he is held by his mother, Chiho Kubosaki, in Yao, Osaka Prefecture, on May 13, 2020. (Mainichi/Naohiro Yamada)
A baby named Genta is seen wearing a face shield designed to protect newborns from the novel coronavirus, as he is held by his mother, Chiho Kubosaki, in Yao, Osaka Prefecture, on May 13, 2020. (Mainichi/Naohiro Yamada)

OSAKA -- Face shields designed for use by newborn babies are gaining popularity at medical institutions to prevent them from being infected with the novel coronavirus.

An obstetrics and gynecology clinic in Yao, Osaka Prefecture, in western Japan has purchased 100 of such face shields from Naito, a company producing parts for amusement devices including pachinko machines that is based in Miyoshi, Aichi Prefecture. The central Japan firm recently started manufacturing and selling baby face shields for medical institutions.

Unlike face masks, people can see the babies' mouth and expressions through the transparent face shields made of plastic resin, which also makes it easier to check on their physical condition. The face shields measure 14 centimeters by 17 centimeters and weigh 14 grams each.

The clinic is distributing one face shield to each baby when they are discharged, so they can be used when the infants are taken outside of their homes.

"Newborns have weak immune systems. By wearing the face shields, they can also protect themselves from being infected with influenza and other viruses through people's droplets," said Sayaka Masaki, a doctor at the clinic.

(Japanese original by Naohiro Yamada, Osaka Photo Group)

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