SAN FRANCISCO: Apple has sourced 20 million face masks which it will donate to the governments at all levels starting this week, CEO Tim Cook said on Monday, adding that the company is also working on designing and producing face shields for use by front-line medical workers.
In a video posted on Twitter, Cook said this is a truly global effort and Apple is working continuously and closely with governments at all levels, to ensure these are donated to places of the greatest need.
“Apple is dedicated to supporting the worldwide response to COVID-19. We’ve now sourced over 20M masks through our supply chain,” Cook said.
“Our design, engineering, operations and packaging teams are also working with suppliers to design, produce and ship face shields for medical workers,” he added.
Apple has said it will soon be producing one million face shields a week for medical workers battling the coronavirus pandemic and has already delivered its first shipment to Kaiser hospital facilities in the Santa Clara Valley.
The Cupertino-based iPhone maker has already received “positive” feedback from doctors.
“These pack flat. 100 per box. Each shield is assembled in less than two minutes and is fully adjustable. We’re sourcing materials and manufacturing in the US and China,” informed Cook.
“For Apple, this is a labour of love and gratitude, and we’ll share more of our efforts over time. In the meantime, each of us can stop the spread of the virus by following expert advice to stay home, and practice social distancing,” Cook emphasised.
Apple has also launched a COVID-19 website and app with a screening tool and other information about the new coronavirus pandemic.
Apple joins several global firms that have modified their production lines to meet demand for protective gear, including Italian luxury brand Prada.
US President Donald Trump last month issued a federal order forcing auto giant General Motors to manufacture ventilators after a shortage of the hospital equipment, which is crucial for treating critical COVID-19 cases.