Large Caps Switch to Medical Gear as Coronavirus Spreads
On Apr 5, Apple, Inc. AAPL CEO Tim Cook said that the company will be designing and producing face shields for medical workers. The iPhone maker now aims to produce as many as 1 million face shields every week.
General Motors Company GM too is encouraging its suppliers to assist in the production of face masks. This follows the carmaker’s venture into the production of ventilators, as announced earlier, to help hospitals and healthcare workers fight the deadly coronavirus.
Face masks, a must for healthcare workers and those affected with the disease, have seen a severe crunch over the past month, with an increasing number of coronavirus cases being reported across the world. Companies globally are shifting from their core businesses to join the fight against the spread of coronavirus. This includes some of the biggest fashion brands. The U.S. government has urged companies to come forward and do their bit to fight the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed almost 70,000 lives globally.
Businesses Branch Out to Contain Coronavirus
One of the biggest challenges for healthcare workers now is the shortage of protective gear. Surging demand for medical masks, gloves and ventilators is a cause for concern across countries. This has resulted in governments urging businesses to come forward and prioritize production of medical equipment.
Quite a large number of companies are already doing so with the tech sector making valuable contribution. Apple said that it would churn out 1 million face shields every week. Last week, Apple, in collaboration with the White House Centre for Disease Control and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, launched an app and a website that will allow users to do a self-screening for COVID-19.
Apple has already donated 20 million N-95 masks to organizations in need. And much like General Motors, Ford Motor Company F too had announced its intent of helping other companies in producing ventilators.
Fashion Brands Switch to Mask Making
Not only tech and automobile companies, but also prominent fashion labels have joined the race to contain the spread of the virus. Prada and Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA LVMUY are retooling to manufacture surgical masks. Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton has pledged to donate millions of masks and medical-grade respirators to make up for the shortage in the supply of these products.
The Gap, Inc. GPS, reportedly, is working with its manufacturing partners to explore production of fabric masks and other protective gear for care givers. However, it is working out on the kind of fabric that would offer the best protection.
Under Armour, Inc. UA is the latest to jump on the bandwagon. Last week, the footwear and apparel brand said that it plans to manufacture 500,000 fabric masks for healthcare workers associated with the University of Maryland Medical System.
Apple, General Motors, Ford, Gap and Louis Vuitton each carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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