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A medical staff member takes the temperature of a man at the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital in China on Jan. 25. HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images

Electronic Giants, Foxconn Starts Producing Surgical Masks To Combat Coronavirus

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Foxconn, a worldwide electronics maker, is taking the unusual step of producing surgical masks. The firm is also aiming to reopen its regular electronics production lines which have been closed due to the coronavirus.


The coronavirus outbreak has caused a surge in demand for surgical masks. This has also led to a shortage of supplies around the world. Foxconn wants to produce two million masks a day before the end of February 2020.


“In this war against the epidemic, every second counts,” the firm said on its official WeChat handle.


It added, “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”.


Foxconn is the world’s largest electronics manufacturer. It makes parts and consumer electronics products including the iPad, Amazon’s Kindle, and PlayStations.


The company says it has embarked on test production of masks at its flagship manufacturing plant in Shenzhen, China.


The masks would first of all be to protect its workers from infection. The firm says that this “is not just Foxconn’s biggest corporate responsibility, but also our social responsibility”.

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When it starts to produce the masks at optimum capacity, Foxconn says it would start providing masks to people outside the company.

Infrared temperature equipment to detect coronavirus in Foxconn employees

A new generation of infrared temperature measurement equipment will also be employed at its facilities to help detect any potential coronavirus infections among its workforce, according to the firm.


Foxconn had responded to the outbreak by closing most of its operations during the Lunar New Year break like other Chinese firms. In other years its factories usually run during the holiday.


US carmaker, General Motors (GM) is also joining Foxconn in the efforts to close the shortage of surgical masks.


Its Chinese joint venture, SAIC-GM-Wuling announced that it will set up 14 production lines. Its goal is to make 1.7 million masks a day.


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