The emergence of the outbreak of COVID-19 has led to an increased focus on improving healthcare systems across developing regions like Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa. As compared to developed countries, developing countries have a shortage of medical facilities & supplies for large populations. Thus, governments are focusing more on boosting the infection control market through various initiatives.
- At the height of China's outbreak in early February, Guan Xunze's company created a new mask factory in just eleven days. With five production lines in northeastern China, the factory made the much-needed N95 face masks in huge demand. Within 11 days, they made more than 10,000 N95 masks a day, which has gone up to 2,00,000 by April 2020.
- China used to supply half of the world with medical and protective masks before the coronavirus (COIVID-19) outbreak. Its production capacity reached nearly 12-fold as the outbreak pushed it to scale up production.
- According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, as of 6th March 2020, China's daily output of face masks reached 100 million units, and that of medical masks N95 reached 1.6 million units. More than 2,500 companies in China have reportedly started making masks. Among these, 700 are technology companies, including iPhone assembler Foxconn and smartphone makers Xiaomi and Oppo. BYD Co Ltd (China), one of the biggest electric vehicle manufacturers, has produced millions of face masks to support the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak. The company and its 3,000 engineers, within weeks, developed products and have built production lines, built from thousands of mostly in-house made parts. As a result, as of 13th March 2020, the facility is now the world’s largest mass-produced face masks plant with an output of 5 million masks and 3,00,000 bottles of disinfectants per day.
- Also, China has sent millions of masks to its European Belt and Road Initiative partners, the Czech Republic and Italy, followed by Serbia, and later also to France and other regions hit by the outbreak.
- Bengaluru-based medical equipment company Caremont, manufacturing gloves and disposable gowns, has started to manufacture PPE gear. For this, the company is procuring polypropylene non-woven fabric from mills in Coimbatore and Tirupur area. Caremont is manufacturing 2,000 such kits, with goggles and gloves that are sourced from vendors, and supplying them to around 80 hospitals across Karnataka.
- As of April 2020, Pals Plush, a Hyderabad-based toy manufacturer, uses its sewing machines, which were earlier used to stitch soft toys, to manufacture PPE suits. It has deployed around 320 employees to produce 2,000 PPE kits daily.
- In April 2020, the Haryana-based World University of Design and IIT Delhi, AIIMS, and a few textile mills in Chennai have developed indigenous personal protection equipment kits for healthcare workers. The prototypes of PPE kits are currently undergoing the second round of testing in a Chennai hospital and are expected to go into production by 25th April 2020.
- In April 2020, scientists at various Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratories applied their technical know-how and expertise in textile, coating, and nanotechnology to develop the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) having a specific type of fabric with coating. DRDO has partnered with the firm Kusumgarh Industries (Gujrat, India) to produce the raw material and coating material, and efforts are on to ramp up the capacity to 15,000 suits per day.
- Indonesia will require between 9 million to 16.5 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) per month in the next four months, up from regular usage of 3 million pieces. The Indonesian textile and garment industry has assured them that it can produce 17 million pieces of PPE per month. The number is based on the combined production capacity of 31 textile manufacturers and 2,900 garment production facilities across the country.
- In March 2020, the Ministry of Health allocated R $140 ($1,952.8) million to construct the Fiocruz Hospital Center for the COVID-19 Pandemic in Rio de Janeiro. The increasing number of hospitals will further demand higher PPE for the healthcare workers working in them.
Thus, such initiatives for boosting the production capacity of protective barriers are expected to drive the global infection control market at a CAGR of ~13.3% to reach $58.2 billion by 2027, according to Meticulous Research.
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