Coronavirus: Foxconn To Make 2 Million Masks A Day
Electronic manufacturer giant Foxconn, who also makes Apple’s iPhone, is taking the unusual step of switching part of its production usually devoted to tech into making surgical masks.
The company is also pushing to be allowed to reopen its regular production lines making electronics – now closed in response to the coronavirus.
The outbreak has seen demand for masks soar and has caused a global outage of supplies. Foxconn says it aims to make two millions masks a day by the end of the month.
‘In this war against the epidemic, every second counts,’ the firm said on the Chinese social media platform WeChat.
‘The earlier we take precautionary actions, the earlier we can prevent the virus, the earlier we can save lives, the sooner we can overcome this.
As well as the iPhone, Foxconn makes parts and consumer electronics products including Amazon’s Kindle, PlayStations and the iPad.
The company stated it had already started test production of masks at its flagship manufacturing plant in Shenzhen, southern China.
The masks would be firstly used for its own workers to protect them from infection, something that the firm believes ‘is not just Foxconn’s biggest corporate responsibility, but also our social responsibility.’
Once full production had started, it would then provide masks to people outside the company.
The company also revealed it would use a new generation of infrared temperature measurement equipment at its locations to help detect any potential coronavirus infections.
Like other companies, Foxconn responded to the outbreak by closing most of its operations during the Lunar New Year break – one of China’s biggest holidays. It is now seeking to restart those operations, despite the ongoing spread and risk from the potentially fatal virus.The announcement came as concerns grow that factory closures and travel restrictions across China will have a major impact on global supply of goods – particularly technology.