Beijing to fast-track new mask factory in virus fight

by Reuters
Monday, 17 February 2020 09:55 GMT

BEIJING, Feb 17 (Reuters) - The Chinese capital of Beijing will set up a new mask factory within just six days to meet soaring demand for protective gear in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the official Xinhua news agency said on Monday.

The factory, to be converted from an industrial building by China Construction First Group, will be able to turn out 250,000 masks each day, it said, adding that work began on Monday and was set to be completed by Saturday.

The rapid pace and makeshift nature of the plant mirror measures taken in the virus epicentre of Wuhan, in the central province of Hubei, where buildings have been converted to treat infected patients, or hospitals built from scratch, in days.

Producers of masks and other protective equipment around the world have been unable to meet demand in the wake of the outbreak, which has killed more than 1,700 people in China.

Last month, CMmask, a Chinese mask maker that supplies 30% of the domestic market, said daily orders for 5 million masks were more than 10 times its usual level. (Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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