Following the shortage of PPEs across the world, it is an undeniable fact that we need to up the production of approved respirators. At the center of the challenge are health workers who have had to resort to less safe alternatives. This response is another way to provide help to the frontline health workers who are fighting to curb the virus. In March, the Minnesota-based company planned to double her production of N95 respirators for the month of April.
Already, 3M produces above 400 million face masks annually, which is produced from plants in Europe, Latin America and the Asia Pacific. Then before the COVID19 outbreak, the company battled with needs for more face masks by victims of the wildfire in Australia and the Philippines volcano. Little did they know that a more significant surge for much more production is on its way. Globally, the company hopes to double its annual output of N95 face masks to reach 2 billion.
Presently, the demand for the N95 respirators still exceeds the supply by a large margin. The pandemic is affecting us all, and that is an undeniable fact all over the world. But the desperate need of the N95 protective mask is causing medical fighters to re-use the masks against general advice. On the other hand, there is ongoing research to find a way of decontaminating the face mask for possible re-use.
In this present situation, all hands must be on deck to see that there are enough available resources both for the medical team and the other people. Countries around the world are already sweeping through their coffers and firing on all cylinders. For instance, the US has release funds since May to ensure millions of N95 face masks are provided for the health workers while the citizens are still advised to stay at home.
Mike Roman, the Chairman and CEO of 3M, said, “3M is working around the clock to get much-needed personal protective equipment to the nation’s frontline healthcare workers,”. Concerning partnership with the Trump-led administration, 3M has secured an agreement to import 166.5 million respirators. This importation will be from their overseas production plants and take the next three months to land.
In addition to the production upgrade, 3M is also constructing a facility to triple the output of an N95 mask in Wisconsin. It is also worthy of note that the company has not changed the prices of respirators, and every illegal deal culprit will be brought to book. If any company would be able to manage the forced expansion well, it should be no other but the Minnesota manufacturing giant.
In conclusion, in the next couple of months, more N95 face masks should be available to medical workers for adequate protection. Also, there might have been a guaranteed way to decontaminate the used respirator without reducing its efficiency. Until then, all non-medical workers should manage cloth masks while the N95 masks are reserved for only the medical staff at the forefront of the battle against COVID19.