Japan is one of the hardest hit countries by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). So, somewhat unsurprisingly, tech company Sharp has started making face masks at one of its display factories. The plant in question that’s usually pushing out TV screens is located in Kameyama, in the Mie prefecture.
Sharp will make about 150000 masks a day by the end of the month. This will reportedly scale to 500000 a day at some point in the future. These masks are expected to hit shelves by the end of the month, but don’t have a price tag attached to them just yet.
Sharp made the decision to go into mask production response to a government call for increased production of masks. The exact facility was chosen to be converted to mask production thanks to its high cleanliness standards. This also makes the company the first domestic company not in the health industry to be making them.
It’s an interesting move, even if it’s at the behest of the government. At the same time, it’s unknown if Sharp is continuing with its TV display production. It won’t be surprising if that part of the business has been halted, due to many other plants in the industry being shut down. Samsung and LG, both South Korean companies, have shut down plants in their home country due to the COVID-19 outbreak.