PRC asks firms to produce protective gear at full capacity
February 14, 2020 - China
China's apparel firms have stepped up to tackle the acute shortage of protective medical gear and face masks due to the coronavirus outbreak by tweaking production lines and building new workshops. The government has also asked firms to work at maximum capacity putting aside overcapacity concerns, promising to buy everything if the market cannot absorb all.
To boost production of medical supplies, the government too has rolled out a slew of measures, including cutting red tape, tax relief and rent subsidies.
A further rise is expected in the already strong demand for protective gear with millions of people gradually returning to work this week, according to a report by an official news agency.
Challenge, a fabric company in Shanghai, converted a three-story workshop to produce protective outfits from February 4, while fashion company Dishang Group in the Shandong Province started prototyping the outfit in its refurbished germ-free workshop. Daily output is pushing toward 6,000 items at Challenge, said company president Yang Shibin.
In the city of Ningbo in eastern China's Zhejiang Province, 14 garment manufacturers, including Peacebird and a raw and auxiliary material producer, are expected to produce a million masks within 20 days, according to Fashion Ningbo, the city's self-governed fashion industry association.
Local governments have fast-tracked approval for these companies to shift to producing medical gear. More than three-fifths of medical supplies manufacturers in the textile industry have resumed production, said the China National Textile and Apparel Council.
Official data showed more than 76 per cent of mask production capacity and 77 per cent of protective suit capacity in China's 22 provincial regions had resumed by early this week.