The Covid-19 pandemic has forced Intradeco Apparel, Inc., founded by Salvadoran-born entrepreneur Felix Siman, to boost production of masks and other protective items at its factories in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

The company, which employs 10,000 Latin America, added staff to respond to increased demand due to the coronavirus, and Intradeco played a key role in providing masks for health care professionals at hospitals in New York and other major cities in the United States.

"New York was the epicenter of the United States with the most Covid cases per day," Siman said in a statement. In April, after three weeks of development and tests, we could accommodate or modify our textiles and processes to obtain Level 1 isolation in the masks."

Intradeco, according to the founder and CEO, was the first firm to send the masks to hospitals in New York and soon expanded distribution across the US.

The company was able to meet the need even though its main factory, located in El Salvador, was ordered closed as part of the Covid-19 quarantine.

Because Intradeco had an order for masks from a major US customer acting on behalf of the government in Washington, Salvadoran authorities allowed the factory to continue operating.

Intradeco, whose main business is supplying high quality casual clothing and thermal underwear to major retailers in the US, Mexico, and Canada, is among the few companies to keep employees on the payroll - and even add jobs - as the majority of firms have had to get rid of staff in the face of the pandemic and the accompanying economic crisis.

Siman, whose family has been in the textile trade for nearly a century, launched Intradeco 28 years ago after completing his studies at Loyola University in New Orleans.

Headquartered in Miami, the firm has design and sales offices in New York and Bentonville, Arkansas, the home of Walmart.

"My grandfather arrived in El Salvador in 1921 due to persecution in the former Palestine. He was part of the textile industry since that time, and I have continued the legacy of my family: integrity, innovation and vision," Siman said.