Enterprise produces masks to help workers return work

Updated:2020-02-14 (chinadaily.com.cn)

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Shenzhou International Group Holdings, a knitwear manufacturer headquartered in Ningbo, chooses to produce masks to help curb the contagion after workers return to work. [Photo/cnnb.com.cn]

A knitwear manufacturer headquartered in Ningbo has chosen to produce masks to help ease the national shortage, according to local media reports.  

Since the onset the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, masks have been in short supply in many parts of the country. 

Shenzhou International Group Holdings, which employs more people than any other company in Ningbo, has been adversely affected by the shortage, as an increasing number of its workers are returning to work. 

Ma Jianrong, president of Shenzhou, revealed that the company now has nearly 40,000 employees, and the masks they bought from Vietnam and Cambodia before the Spring Festival holiday are far from being enough. 

"Even if each person only uses one mask per day, the supply would only last two or three days." 

To cope with the shortage, the company opted to make its own masks. Shenzhou donated 50,000 surgical masks that were purchased from overseas, and started R&D and production of homemade masks to help its workers fight against the epidemic. 

Given that raw materials for masks are already in short supply, the company used antibacterial and quick-drying fabric as a substitute. 

By virtue of its well-established production lines and large number of skilled workers, the company now has a capacity of 10 thousand double-layer masks per day. 

Each mask's fabric costs two yuan ($0.29), while the number for disposable medical masks is only around 0.6 yuan, a worker from the company told reporters. 

Ma said "something is better than nothing" and the company's move aims to minimize the possibility of infection through airborne droplets in the workplace. 

Two tons of fabric specially designed for surgical masks the company ordered from Jiangsu province is on its way and will be available soon. 

The company has also contacted testing companies in Ningbo to ensure the quality of the masks.

Founded in 1990, Shenzhou is one of the largest manufacturers of knitwear products in China and has formed long-term partnerships with sportswear brands such as Adidas and Nike.