A giant Apple logo can be seen in front of the Apple-store. File photo/AFP
Apple has said it will soon be producing one million face shields a week for medical workers battling the coronavirus pandemic.
The tech giant had already sourced 20 million surgical masks from around the world to help address a global shortage, chief executive Tim Cook said in a video posted to Twitter on Sunday.
But the company had also designed its own transparent protective face shield and begun mass production at its factories in the US and China, he added.
Chief executive Tim Cook poses for a photograph. File photo
"We plan to ship over one million by the end of this week," said Cook.
Initial distribution would be focused on the US but the company hoped to "quickly expand distribution" to other countries, he said.
Apple joins several global firms that have modified their production lines to meet demand for protective gear, including Italian luxury brand Prada.
US President Donald Trump last month issued a federal order forcing auto giant General Motors to manufacture ventilators after a shortage of the hospital equipment, which is crucial for treating critical COVID-19 cases.
The virus has now infected more than 88,000 people and spread to over 60 countries after first emerging in China late last year. South Korea, the biggest nest of infections outside China, reported nearly 500 new cases on Monday, bringing its total past 4,000.
Apple has reportedly suggested to its employees on the California campuses to work from home as an "extra precaution" even as new coronavirus cases spread on the west coast in the US.
A record daily increase of 370 according to a Reuters tabulation of official data. Worldwide, confirmed cases rose above 593,000 with 27,198 deaths, the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported.
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