Coronavirus: New Zealand business develops product to stop COVID-19 spreading

A New Zealand business has come up with an innovate product to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

It's a clear PVC screen that acts as a barrier between customers and shop workers in essential services.

The product is being manufactured by Mortimer Upholstery and Marine Covers in Nelson, and manager Caleb Hill spoke to Newshub about his idea.

"I did some brainstorming on Saturday about how we could keep our own office workers safe when customers came in," he told Newshub.

"I thought 'I know what I'll do, I'll make up a clear PVC screen just to act as a barrier between the customer and my team members so I can keep them safe'

"So we made it and then I put a post on FB and other businesses cottoned on to it and it went from there really."

Hill says he's had inquiries for the screens from all around New Zealand.

"In terms of locally, we're seeing petrol stations, I installed one yesterday," he says.

"It's very early days but everything is happening so fast. Medical centres, dairies, service stations, backpackers, accommodation providers, those are the ones that have reached out to us so far.

"But I could also see food producers, factory workers, stuff like that, needing that barrier of contact."

Hill hopes he will be able to continue to manufacture the screens under the level 4 alert - and help keep Kiwis safe.

"All I know at the moment is that we have a product that's obviously not 100 percent going to stop the virus, but it's just something we can see that can be put in place to help reduce it," he says.

"We want for all New Zealanders to help this virus come to a stop and for it to be eradicated, so whoever makes those decisions, if they deem this is not an essential service, then we'll have no option but to stop and we'll happily stop for the cause.

"But if they can see value in it and businesses see value in it we'll carry on and work under stringent health conditions."