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More fashion companies join coronavirus fight

Major international retailers are lining up to join the fight against the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.

Swedish fashion retailer H&M has begun producing protective face masks intended for use by hospital staff initially in Spain and Italy, to be followed by other regions.

“At this first stage, 100,000 face masks will be produced and ready for delivery on April 2,” said a spokesperson for the brand. “Half will go to Italy and half to Spain. It is a factory in China that makes the masks.”

Meanwhile, Japanese fast fashion casual wear brand Uniqlo will donate 10 million masks produced by its Chinese manufacturing partners to medical facilities around the world, with the majority headed for the US, Italy and Japan. The first 1 million masks were scheduled to be delivered to Italy this week.

McDonald’s Philippines has pledged to serve 50,000 meals to medical health workers, volunteers, police, government agencies, and local communities affected by the disease. The distribution of the meals is being handled by partner agencies.

“We continue to reinforce our commitment to make a difference in the lives of Filipinos by providing aid to Filipinos in need during this very challenging time,” said Ronald McDonald House Charities executive director Marie Angeles. 

In China, Hong Kong jeweller Chow Tai Fook has set up an in-house face mask production line in its dust-free T Mark diamond processing factory in Lunjiao, Shunde. The facility has been operating since mid-March and produces around 100,000 masks per day.

The masks are being given as a priority to the group’s employees globally, with donation for charitable purposes to be considered once productivity increases. 

“Anti-epidemic materials are short in supply under the global outbreak”, said Chow Tai Fook executive director Bobby Liu. “To take good care of more than 30,000 employees worldwide, the group has to secure adequate supply of face masks for our staff to ensure they can return to work safely and worry-free. In response to this challenge, we shifted from global sourcing to producing our own face masks.

“Contributing to fight against the outbreak, we plan to donate face masks to people in need through medical institutions or non-profit organisations once we ramp up our production.”

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