As the spread of the Coronavirus continues and hospitals are struggling to provide basic kits to healthcare workers on the frontlines, tech companies are really eager to help. The latest announcement comes from Apple, which says that they’ll be shipping 2 million N95 face masks for healthcare workers across hospitals in Europe and the US. In the past 24 hours, cases of the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, have spiked in the US, while European countries such as Italy, UK, Germany, France and Spain already have their healthcare systems in a state of overload.
“Our teams at Apple have been working to help source supplies for healthcare providers fighting COVID-19. We’re donating millions of masks for health professionals in the US and Europe. To every one of the heroes on the front lines, we thank you,” says Tim Cook in a tweet, in the early hours of today. This has also been announced by the US Vice-President Mike Pence. Protective equipment supplies are in serious short supply in hospitals in US and Europe, putting healthcare professionals caring for Coronavirus patients, at great risk of catching the infection themselves.
Yesterday, Alibaba founder Jack Ma announced they are sending emergency medical supplies to various countries in Asia as they struggle with the Coronavirus. “Go Asia! We will donate emergency supplies (1.8M masks, 210K test kits, 36K protective suits, plus ventilators & thermometers) to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan & Sri Lanka. Delivering fast is not easy, but we'll get it done!” he said. Alibaba has also donated as many as 2 million masks and medical protective equipment for healthcare workers in many countries in Europe as well as 500000 testing kits and 100000 masks for medical professionals in the US too. Xiaomi Italy had also tweeted earlier this month that they are donating N95 face masks to the Italian Civil Protection Department.
Apple had earlier announced that they are making $15 million donations to fight the COVID-19 spread. The company has also closed physical retail stores in all regions except Greater China till further notice and has informed Apple Card users that they can skip the payments for the month of March without interest.