iMask? Apple starts producing protective facial gear to help with coronavirus crisis

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Apr 06, 2020, 09.57 AM(IST) Edited By: Bharat Sharma

File photo Photograph:( Reuters )

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Apple plans to make more than one million shields every week

Apple Inc, the company behind the world’s most innovative smartphone and computer technology has now stepped in to help deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

In a statement released yesterday, Apple’s Chief Executive Tim Cook said that the company would be making protective face shields for health workers.

Starting out in the United States, Apple plans to make more than one million shields every week. After fulfilling the needs of the US, the shields will then be shipped to different parts of the world.

Besides amping up its own production, the company is sourcing over 20 million masks to help out with the global shortage of masks.

Also read: Coronavirus outbreak: Global cases cross 1,200,000; death toll rises to 69,444

Most companies around the world that have pre existing production capabilities are helping out during the pandemic, be it Tata in India, or Tesla elsewhere. Apple is the newest addition to the list.

Companies have undertaken building medical equipment like ventilators, as the world, in modest terms, was simply not prepared to deal with a pandemic on a scale as big as COVID-19.

"This is a truly global effort, and we're working continuously and closely with governments at all levels to ensure these are donated to places of greatest need," Cook said in a Twitter video.

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Apple has roped in engineers, suppliers, and designers to assist them with the face shield production.

According to Cook, the shields take over two minutes to be assembled. The first shipment of the plastic shields was sent to hospitals in Silicon Valley last week, with the material coming from the US and China.

"In both these efforts, our focus is on unique ways Apple can help, meeting essential needs of caregivers urgently and at a scale the circumstances require," Cook added. 

The pandemic has brought into question the viability and effectiveness of global healthcare systems and infrastructure, as countries, irrespective of whether they’re perceived as developed or developing, are facing major repercussions of the infection. 

Also read: Tiger in New York City tests positive for COVID-19; other cats around showing symptoms!

As of today, more than 600,000 people globally have been tested positive for the virus. Additionally, over 60,000 people have lost their lives to the killer infection which can cause pneumonia and essentially attacks the lungs.

From 3D-printing to makeshift production facilities, the world has woken up to the crisis call and is now responding to the demand with full force.

"For Apple, this is a labour of love and gratitude, and we will share more of our efforts over time", Cook additionally said.