Topic: Small Businesses Doing Their Part to Produce PPE for Medical Staff Shortages
With the COVID-19 epidemic causing ripples across the global supply chain, companies are trying to come with grips with shortages in key inputs for their production. Hard hit is the manufacturing sector that produces vital medical supplies. These include Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves and medical robes.
Recent weeks have seen a surge in medical supplies and protective gear as numbers of those infected rose across the nation. The problem was further compounded with factories seeing either closures or quarantines coupled with international trade heavily restricted.
Hard hit include manufacturers heavily dependent on inputs from the Chinese market the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. The US needs an estimated 3.5 billion masks to cope with the outbreak this year. Manufacturers are now looking in country for solutions to address the current pinch in supplies.
Against this background the shortage crisis has caused textile companies to recalibrate their businesses to address the urgent need for face masks, gowns and gloves. Crafters too have taken up arms to fight the onslaught of the outbreak by setting up Facebook pages to create a community as well as provide DIY videos on how to produce PEPs such as the Crafters Against COVID-19 Seattle.
Other manufacturers have tweaked their production lines that once produced T-shirts and hoodies to produce protective masks. Though the masks are not medical grade they do get the job of helping reduce the risks of being infected.