A gesture of goodwill – 500,000 surgical masks donated to Maltese Government

The owner of Praude Asset Management Limited, a fund management company based in Malta, Dr Massimo Malvestio, has donated 500,000 protective masks to Malta.

Massimo Malvestio was born and raised in Treviso Veneto. A lawyer by profession as well as a portfolio manager, he is a very well-known figure in Veneto.

When COVID– 19 broke out in Veneto, it spread rapidly throughout the region. Realizing that there was a shortage of surgical masks, the Governor of the region collaborated with a local entrepreneur (a world-renowned printer) to print these protective screens/masks, as one of the tactics used to control the spread. The Veneto region bought and distributed these masks to all their municipalities for the general public to use and unlike neighbouring regions, Veneto was successful in reducing the spread.  

Having witnessed the success rate of these masks in Veneto, Dr Malvestio was inspired to buy and donate 500,000 to the Maltese Government. Through H.E. Ambassador of Malta to Italy, Joseph Cuschieri, he obtained a confirmation from the necessary authorities that such a donation would be welcomed and needed.

Last Friday morning, the masks arrived in Malta and Dr Malvestio presented Government with a donation of half a million masks.

Massimo Malvestio thanked the Government of Malta for the efficient and effective management of the deal, as well as to Cuschieri, whose professional commitment and relentless dedication since inception, made all this possible including rapidly executing the donation in such difficult times.

The story behind the face masks

At the end of February, coronavirus abruptly broke out in the northern Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto.

As the number of people infected in these kept rising exponentially, both regions faced the challenge of an unprecedented shortage of the protective gear necessary to protect doctors, nurses and all citizens from the virus. Production of this gear was mostly concentrated in China, and with the virus spreading worldwide, national and local governments, hospitals and the public at large desperately rushed to secure their own supply of protective gear.

In Italy, the struggle to obtain face masks was ever more dramatic, as the country had virtually no national production of these tools.

Veneto’s Governor, Luca Zaia, immediately established health directives throughout the region that proved to be effective in limiting contagion, but as the numbers kept growing nonetheless, the supply of face masks remained a critical challenge. Pushed by these compelling needs he reached out to Fabio Franceschi, president of one the most modern and reputed printing enterprises worldwide, Grafica Veneta. Mr. Franceschi offered to convert his printing machines to produce face masks that could help protect citizens.

In fact, although not a surgical tool, the product that resulted from Grafica Veneta’s rapid response, it has proven to be a valuable safeguard designed for citizens. With proper use, this mask provided a resourceful solution combining fast availability and effectiveness. Most importantly, the distribution of this protective gear to citizens provided a much-desired relief on the supply for hospitals, where proper surgical masks must remain available to healthcare professionals in their fight against coronavirus.

The masks have already been distributed to millions of people in Veneto and Governor Zaia himself wears this protective gear every day in his press briefings, as do all regional officers who need to meet people as part of their role.

The increased use of these masks, combined with the implementation of rigorous practices to control contagion,  has contributed to Veneto  reaching remarkable results in managing the health crisis, which have been praised all over the world and most recently by the University of Harvard.

As a native of the region, Malvestio was inspired to replicate this example in Malta, where he has been welcomed as a resident for over six years. Together with Fabio Franceschi, he sought to bring whatever help he could offer to the country to help protect the health of its citizens.

This content was supplied by Praude Asset Management