New World Development CEO Adrian Cheng is leading an initiative to produce surgical masks for Hongkongers during the coronavirus epidemic.
The firm’s charity foundation will produce 200,000 masks a day in the territory from April, which will be given free to the public. It is also making an investment of HKD10 million (US$1.3 million) to research and develop the application of Nanodiamonds technology to enhance the protective function of mask materials, with the aim to further develop a specialised coating that will kill bacteria and viruses.
“The recent COVID-19 made me realise how challenging it has been for the local community to source masks locally,” said Cheng. “Right after I announced to donate HKD10 million in protective gear to local communities, our team reached out to suppliers worldwide in search of high-quality masks. The fluctuation in prices and unreliability of supply prompted me to make the decision to start a local production line right here in Hong Kong. We have no shortage of scientific research capabilities, talent and resources in this city, and we are absolutely equipped to produce high-quality masks locally to tackle immediate and long-term needs.”
There is currently a global shortage of surgical masks during the outbreak and an urgent need to produce high-quality, affordable masks locally to meet rising demands, especially from low-income families.
New World Development has ordered two automated mask production machines and sourced raw materials to make adult- and children-sized masks.