Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook has revealed that the tech giant is designing and producing face shields to protect health care workers in the U.S. during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
He also said that it has separately sourced over 20 million masks for medical professionals through its global supply chain.
“We’ve launched a company-wide effort, bringing together product designers, engineering, operations, and packaging teams, and our suppliers, to design, produce, and ship face shields for health workers,” CEO Tim Cook said in a video posted on his official Twitter account on Sunday.
He mentioned that the first shipment of face shields manufactured by Apple was delivered to Kaiser hospital facilities in the Santa Clara Valley last week, and the feedback coming from doctors was “very positive”.
The California-based firm is sourcing materials and manufacturing in both the U.S. and China. The face shields are fully adjustable and can be assembled in under two minutes, Cook added.
“We plan to ship over one million by the end of this week, and over one million per week after that,” noted Cook.
In addition to the face shields, Apple will also be offering 20 million protective face masks for health workers in the U.S.
Apple is dedicated to supporting the worldwide response to COVID-19. We’ve now sourced over 20M masks through our supply chain. Our design, engineering, operations and packaging teams are also working with suppliers to design, produce and ship face shields for medical workers. pic.twitter.com/3xRqNgMThX
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) April 5, 2020
Currently, Apple is focussing on the U.S. for its healthcare efforts but has plans to expand them to other markets very soon.
“We are closely coordinating with medical professionals and government officials across the US to get these to where they’re needed most urgently,” said Cook. “We hope to quickly expand distribution beyond the US.”
Last month, Apple had announced that it would be donating 10 million N95 masks to medical workers. Besides this, the company also launched a COVID-19 website and app with a screening tool and set of resources for users in the U.S. to keep them informed about the pandemic.
“Teams across Apple have been working hard on ways we can support our heroic frontline medical professionals,” said Cook, adding that the company is concentrating on “unique ways to meet the essential needs of caregivers at a scale the circumstances require.”
“For Apple this is a labour of love and gratitude and we will share more of our efforts over time.”