Apple to ship 1 mil face shields a week for medical workers

Andrew Cummings
April 6, 2020

Apple has pulled in designers, engineers and suppliers to shape, produce and ship the face shields. Cook said that the company would ship 1 million by the end of the week and will expect to ship an additional 1 million face shields weekly, with a goal to expand distribution beyond the U.S.

Chief executive Tim Cook said the company had sourced the shields through its global supply chain and that it was working with governments to distribute them where they were needed most, in a video posted to Twitter. "The feedback from doctors was very positive", said the Apple CEO. These are already being distributed in the U.S., and the plan is to make a million of them a week to be sent to around the world.

The first delivery of Apple face shields had already been sent to Kaiser hospital facilities in the Santa Clara valley in California earlier this week, according to Cook. Apple has also launched a COVID-19 website and app with a screening tool and other information about the new coronavirus pandemic.

The tech giant plans to make more than one million shields a week, which will be shipped first to USA medical workers and then distributed globally.

3D-printing companies like Massachusetts-based Markforged and Formlabs and Brooklyn's Voodoo Manufacturing are all making personal protective equipment like face shields in the US.

A shortage of masks and shields has hampered hospital workers battling the coronavirus on the front line. Cook underlined that the number of masks that Apple was able to source through its supply chain already rose to over 20 million around the world. They can be assembled in less than two minutes and are fully adjustable, Cook explained.

Apple is now focussing on the U.S. for its healthcare efforts.

"We are closely co-ordinating with medical professionals and government officials across the USA to get these [face shields] where they are needed the most".

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