A customer holds boxes of face masks at a pharmacy in Hong Kong on Jan. 23. Photo: Bloomberg
(Bloomberg) ― 3M Co. is ramping up production of protective face masks as a deadly coronavirus that has killed more than 100 people in China spreads despite travel restrictions and other worldwide efforts to contain the disease.
“We are focused on ramping up 24/7, not only in our China operations but in Asia, Europe and the U.S. to meet that demand,” 3M Chief Executive Officer Michael Roman said Tuesday in a phone interview.
Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak that has infected more than 4,500 and killed 106 people, is a manufacturing, shipping and business hub for global corporations. As the virus has spread in China and beyond, airlines are suspending flights and global companies including Starbucks Corp. and office-sharing company WeWork are shutting locations. Facebook Inc., Nissan Motor Co. and banks from Credit Suisse Group to Morgan Stanley are telling staff to work from home.