As China starts to send emergency supplies to the rest of the world tackling the spread of the coronavirus, it has been confirmed that two factories in Beijing have now been converted to produce half a million facemasks a day to meet demand.
The Naton Medical Group which is producing masks in Beijing’s Haidian district that previously been involved in creating surgical orthopaedic products for hospitals and now switched full-time to creating masks as a result of a government directive.
It reportedly took five days for the company to switch its production between notification on 2nd February to full-time mask production by 7th February, and they are now up to the point where they are producing half a million masks every day.
It was more complicated than just repurchasing machinery, and in many cases the company had to buy in entire new production technologies and machinery and retrain workers to operate in the new environment, according to Zhao Yiwu, who is president of Naton Medical Group.
The company added that there are hundred and 20 staff working on the production of facemasks, each working 12 hour shifts to make sure the factory was operating 24 hours a day, and they estimate that further changes will allow them to increase production to 1.3 million facial masks later in the month.
Sha Haijiang who is the deputy district director of Haidian government praised the company’s work saying: “I was deeply grateful for the contributions enterprises made in epidemic prevention and control.”
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