Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook has announced it will be providing one million face shields every week in an effort to support medical workers.
The tech giant has reportedly launched a company-wide initiative whereby employees from the fields of product design, engineering, packaging and design will produce and ship shields for medical staff working on the frontline.
The Silicon Valley-based business will work alongside governments across the globe to distribute masks to where they are most needed. The first batch has already been delivered to Kaiser hospital facilities in the Santa Clara Valley.
Tweeting a video of his announcement, Cook, 59, said:
Apple is dedicated to supporting the worldwide response to COVID-19. We’ve now sourced over 20M masks through our supply chain.
Our design, engineering, operations and packaging teams are also working with suppliers to design, produce and ship face shields for medical workers.
Speaking in the vid, Cook revealed Apple is currently coordinating with medical experts throughout the US, with the hopes of soon expanding distribution to other countries:
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.
We plan to ship over one million by the end of this week, and over one million per week after that.
[…] In both these efforts, out focus is on unique ways Apple can help, meeting essential needs of caregivers urgently and at a scale the circumstances require. For Apple, this is a labour of love and gratitude, and we will share more of our efforts over time.
More than just a piece of fabric covering placed over the mouth, Apple’s face shield will reportedly cover the entire face with a transparent plastic panel. Materials and manufacturing have been sourced in both the US and China.
Apple has reportedly received ‘positive’ feedback from doctors so far, with the ‘100 per box’ flat-pack mask being ‘fully adjustable’. It can also be assembled in under two minutes.
This welcome announcement comes at a time when healthcare workers around the world are concerned about shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), which includes goggles, face shields, gloves and gowns.
As reported by Vox, the US had just 12 million N95 respirators and 30 million surgical masks in early March, a mere 1% of the estimated requirement.
It’s okay to not panic about everything going on in the world right now. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization, click here.
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