An Israeli start-up firm behind a reusable anti-viral mask has said it expects its technology will be shown to neutralise 99 percent of the coronavirus.

Special coating on Sonovia’s masks can reduce the spread of diseases caused by bacteria, fungi and viruses, even after many laundry cycles, according to the company, which was awarded a €2.4 million grant (£2.2m)  from the European Commission last year.

An early test conducted at the Weipu Jishu lab in Shanghai found the fabric used in the masks “neutralised more than 90 percent of the coronavirus to which it was exposed”, Sonovia said this week.

“This is now concrete evidence that our SonoMask is a vital tool in preventing disease transmission in the current pandemic,” according to Sonovia scientist Dr Jason Migdal.

He revealed that, since test samples of the fabric had been submitted to the Shanghai lab months ago, the technology had been “optimised even further”.

Sonovia expects the mask will be able to neutralise 99 percent of the coronavirus “with a fast-tracked full test application with an EU authorised laboratory imminently.”

“This will demonstrate that we are providing the public with the highest level of anti-viral protection,” he added.

Sonovia has donated thousands of masks to medical and non-profit organisations around the world, including the UK.

The company says the patented fabric could have a number of other applications, such as to produce other items of personal protective equipment or manufacture microbe-resistant seats on public transport and reusable food packaging.