Surgical masks, exam masks, and N95 respirators are in high demand as ways to limit the spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. However, supplies have been hampered by insufficient production capacity and manufacturing closures in areas that are seeing high incidence of the disease.
However, help is on the way. Businesses in China have already converted their operations to the production of masks. Additionally, key mask suppliers such as 3M are responding by having existing staff work additional shifts as they move from a 5-day week to a 7-day week at some plants, as well as by fast-tracking hiring processes and increasing automation where possible.
Still, the rising need for these items as the disease spreads is going to mean that such measures are unlikely to let up any time soon.
For more information, see Freedonia’s Global Medical Disposable Supplies and Disposable Medical Supplies in the US reports.