3M Co expects to boost U.S. month-to-month production of N95 masks to 50 million in June, the industrial big stated Tuesday, as demand surges from healthcare professionals and first responders battling the coronavirus crisis.
The corporate can also be trying to make 2 billion N95 respirators globally within the next year, again doubling capacity to provide the masks meant to filter 95% of airborne particles.
With medical centers running low on ventilators and protective masks and hampered by limited diagnostic testing capacity, the pandemic has led to the deaths of over 2,800 Americans and contaminated over 160,000 as of Tuesday, topping the case counts of China and Italy.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) has stated that over the next 18 months, it intends to purchase 500 million masks for the Strategic National Stockpile, the nation’s supply of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies.
3M stated it was working with several sterilization corporations to discover a way for hospitals to clean, reuse and extend the life of the respirators.
The corporation also intends to boost the manufacturing of its respirators by six-fold within the next 60 to 90 days through its partnership with Ford Motor.
U.S. corporations are rushing to build ventilators and masks as the pandemic spreads.
Ford has stated it should build 50,000 ventilators over the next 100 days at a factory in Michigan in cooperation with General Electric’s healthcare subsidiary.