Japanese company Sharp has revealed that it will dedicate one of its TV factories in Japan to producing face masks amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The company’s facility, which is capable of producing high-end electronics, can churn out tens of thousands of these masks every single day. Though they aren’t useful for protecting against the virus, these masks are vital for healthcare workers and can be used by sick individuals to help guard against the spreading of germs.
There is a face mask shortage in a number of countries due to coronavirus concerns. A number of public health agencies have stated that these ordinary paper face masks cannot protect against the virus and that, in many cases, they may increase the risk of getting the virus because wearers often repeatedly touch the masks to readjust them.
The US Surgeon General recently published a tweet begging the public to stop buying these masks, stating that they are not helpful for sick people and that they are more important to healthcare workers. These masks are used to help protect doctors, nurses and their patients; they’re also recommended for use by sick people as a way to help protect against spreading the virus by coughing and sneezing.
As a result of the shortage, multiple companies have increased production of the face masks. Foxconn in China recently switched one of its facilities over to manufacturing this product and now Sharp, which is owned by the Chinese company, has said that it will do the same thing with a TV factory in Japan.
According to the BBC, which cites Japanese media, Sharp will be able to produce approximately 150,000 face masks per day and that it will only take ‘weeks’ to switch production over from LCD panels to masks. The nation has called for 600 million masks to be made available monthly. The report claims that Sharp could increase its mask production to 500,000 units per day.