By Ian McConnell

SCOTTISH outdoor clothing specialist Keela has amid the coronavirus pandemic launched an “anti-viral” range which it is hailing as an innovation in its market-place.

The Glenrothes-based company has partnered with Swedish textile technologist Polygiene to produce the ViralOff outdoor clothing range.

Keela said the active ingredient in Keela ViralOff reduces viruses on garments by 99 per cent over a two-hour period.

It added: “The Keela ViralOff collection features garments that are protected against coronavirus and other viruses such as influenza, bird flu, norovirus, and SARS.”

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The range includes trousers, long-sleeve tops and neck gaiters for men and women.

The ViralOff collection is produced in Keela’s Sri Lanka factory.

Keela’s Glenrothes factory is currently making gowns for the National Health Service.

A spokeswoman for Keela said the company had recently taken on 50 new staff and expanded its facilities at Southfield in Glenrothes by 10,000 sq ft to allow for social-distancing measures.

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Keela sales director Sam Fernando said: “As lockdown measures continue to ease across the country, it [is] important to get back into the outdoors safely. When it came to developing this range, Polygiene ViralOff was an obvious choice. With 16 years’ experience in this field and their work dating back to the 2004 SARS outbreak, they are true experts in this area.”

She added: “During the design phase of the collection, it became clear that we wanted to make products that are not only suitable for the current Covid-19 pandemic, but ones that are a longer-term solution to enhance hygiene.”

Family-owned Keela also flagged protection offered by the new range, with its “self-sanitising fabric”, against bacteria.

Keela and its sister company, Ardmel, have a combined annual turnover of £8 million. The companies employ about 100 people in the UK.