The Bachelor SA's Jessica R is making face masks to combat the nationwide shortage amid the coronavirus crisis

It started as one face mask for a friend now The Bachelor SA contestant Jessica Ross has people from all over the country ordering a mask.

"A friend asked if I would make her a mask as I have previously made masks before for my dance team.

"She was aware of the nationwide shortage of medical masks and felt that any available medical masks should be reserved for those on the front line like medical professionals and emergency workers," says the fashion designer from Cape Town.

Jessica made one for her friend, and after posting it on social media, she was overwhelmed with people wanting to place orders.

The Western Cape Health Department has advised that even people who are not infected should wear a mask when they are moving around in public to avoid the spread of Covid-19.

However, it should be used in conjunction with good basic hygiene which includes washing your hands, coughing or sneezing in the corner of your arm, refrain from touching your face and keeping a 1.5 meter distance from others.

"Face masks made from fabric aren't intended to protect the wearers from getting sick but rather to prevent them from spreading the virus to others. Even people who are not exhibiting preliminary symptoms are encouraged to act on the side of caution.

"With our fabric mask you can take it off either before or after you enter your home and put it straight into the wash to wear again once it's clean," says Jessica.

The 27-year-old adds that a lot of research has gone into finding which fabrics are best to use and found that cotton is the best.

"Our masks are constructed of two layers of heavyweight woven cotton, which has a tighter weave leaving little to no room for tiny viral particles to go through.

"Each mask has been sprayed down with disinfectant. They then sit for 12 hours in a wiped down, sanitised room before being packaged. The virus can live up to 12 hours on fabric. Each mask is then placed in a heat-sealed plastic packet, which will be accompanied by wash instructions and guidelines for strict hygiene protocols," explains Jessica.

Cloth face mask by Bachelor SA contestant Jessica

(STAY SAFE: One of the designer's face masks. Screengrab: Active Spirit SA)

With these masks, Jessica says that she is trying to do her bit for society amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"These masks were made to help curb the panic buying of medical masks, a dangerous habit which has already affected medical professionals and others who must come into contact with, especially vulnerable people.

"We have made sure our price points cover the cost of production and remain affordable as these are an essential item, and we are not looking to take advantage of the situation."

The beauty who is vying for Marc Buckner's heart in the second season of the M-Net reality show says that she is very grateful to still be working.

"My team and I are making masks for pharmacies and have a permit to continue operation during lockdown.

"We are also donating masks to organisations where we can. I am happy for the distraction and feel it is so rewarding to do something to help the people of South Africa during this unprecedented crisis."

The Bachelor SA season 2 airs Thursdays at 19:00 on M-Net (DStv 101)

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