TOKYO – Nissan Motor Co. said Thursday it will make face shields for health care workers in Japan, joining other companies outside the medical industry already helping to boost medical supplies in the fight against the new coronavirus outbreak.
The automaker said it will start producing face shields at three of its domestic production sites this month, aiming to make 2,500 units a month. It will also study ways to support companies that manufacture respirators and artificial heart-lung machines, which are also feared to run short due to the pandemic.
Nissan has already been making face shields for health care workers at its U.S. plants in Michigan, Mississippi and Tennessee, supporting delivery of the face shields in Britain, and making respirators in Spain.
Its Japanese peers Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. also embarked on face shield production for hospital workers, while electronics makers such as Sony Corp. are cooperating with medical equipment manufacturers to produce respirators.
At teleconferences held Wednesday and Thursday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe requested that leaders of domestic companies, including Toyota, Sony, Nissan and others outside the medical sector, cooperate in increasing production of protective equipment for health workers fighting on the frontline.
Abe has said if such products remain unsold, the government will purchase them for stockpiles.
Also on Thursday, All Nippon Airways Co. said it plans to have around 30 of its employees help apparel maker Valley LLC produce medical gowns from the end of this month at its training facility in Tokyo.