China to offer more supplies to battle virus

China will help countries facing inadequate supplies in their battle against the novel coronavirus epidemic by encouraging domestic producers to export their products, the nation’s top industry regulator said on Friday.

The move is part of the nation’s broader efforts to facilitate the global fight against the outbreak, and it comes as China’s production capacity of crucial medical supplies is rapidly rising.

The World Health Organization last month called on producers and distributors of much-needed anti-epidemic products to help meet global demand.

Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology Wang Jiangping said, “China encourages domestic makers of medical goods and preventive supplies to meet growing foreign demand.”

China has already satisfied demand for medical supplies ranging from ventilators and protective suits to testing kits and key drugs in Hubei province, epicenter of the epidemic, Wang said.

Daily output of protective suits in China has now reached 500,000 units, marking a surge from less than 20,000 at the beginning of the epidemic, the ministry said.

Factories across the country can now churn out 1.6 million N95 surgical masks every day, up from 200,000 before the outbreak.

As confirmed cases of COVID-19 increase overseas, domestic manufacturers of medical and preventive supplies are encouraged to export their products to ease mounting strains facing other countries, Wang added.

Amid the epidemic, a string of Chinese companies revamped their factories to produce surgical masks. In Fujian province, for example, workers at diaper manufacturer Daddy Baby are busy making masks.

“We believe each mask we produce may save one more person,” said Lin Yanting, the company’s deputy general manager.

China is also intensifying its push to help companies resume work to maintain economic stability amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Wang said foreign-invested companies and domestic enterprises are treated equally and they can enjoy the same favorable policies China has rolled out to encourage work resumption.

“The fundamentals of China’s long-term sound economic growth remain unchanged while the short-term impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak are generally controllable,” Wang added.

China has taken a series of measures, including financing and fiscal policies, to help firms resume operations. More effort will be made to encourage small and medium-sized firms to restart work, the official said.

Yang Yuanqing, chairman of Lenovo Group-the world’s largest personal computer maker-said most of its Chinese plants have resumed production and one of its major PC factories in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, reached full capacity earlier this month.

Yang said the outbreak will not damage China’s leading role in the global supply chain.

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