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police officials conducting temperature screenings in public places and at inter-provincial highway

Time:2020-02-24 22:17Underwear site information Click:

Industry Protective outfit gears

A worker at Jiangsu Casdilly Dress Co, a protective gear manufacturer, checks a protective suit at the company's factory in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province, on February 4. Photo: Yang Hui/GT

A global shortage of protective face masks, goggles and suits has hampered the fight against the novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) epidemic which originated in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province. 2019-nCoV has claimed 909 lives and infected 36,046 people in China as of February 9. Enterprises in related industries have spared no effort to produce protective products under a special government policy.

The Global Times interviewed three enterprises in East China's Jiangsu Province and Shanghai Municipality, and witnessed workers busy on production lines to guarantee maximum supply for the market.

"The market demand for PTFE anti-microbial membrane woven fabric, the material used to make protective suits, was previously very stable and low, and was just for national reserves. But now the daily demand is more than 100,000 meters - that equals our total supply to our clients over several years in the past," said Zhang Hongwei, general manager of Wujiang Tutaike Textiles & Finishing Co Ltd in Wujiang, Jiangsu Province. Tutaike is one of the key raw-materials manufacturers for protective suits in the industry in China.

Hospitals a priority

"On average, one suit requires 2.5 meters of raw material. Our current daily production capacity is 70,000 meters, which can guarantee 28,000 suits and satisfy demand for several clients," Zhang told the Global Times. "Thanks to the local government's quick response and favorable policy, we were able to resume our operations. The company has organized workers and management to do everything we can to resume our production line as soon as possible."

Tutaike said clients from hospitals and medical institutions are its top priority, followed by government procurement and commercial dealers. Its supply is unable to meet the escalating demand from clients all over the country.

The company is proud of the experience it gained in 2003 when China fought SARS. It was the materials supplier for Nanjing-based Jiangsu Casdilly Dress Co Ltd. Casdilly supplied isolation suits to medical staff in Beijing during the outbreak which caused 774 fatalities worldwide. 

Casdilly was among the first companies to receive a permit from the government to resume operations during this year's Spring Festival holidays to provide urgently needed commodities. But both Tutaike and Casdilly agreed that their companies could only fully resume production after the whole industrial chain is restarted.

Industrial chain cooperation

President of Casdilly Li Zhiming told the Global Times, "Based on our cooperation in 2003 and the trust we established with Tutaike, together with good relationships with other partners and clients throughout the industrial chain, my company was able to start our new production line at an early stage. It took only three days for my company to organize workers, purchase and transport materials, and install newly purchased, borrowed or rented equipment."

Casdilly, as a military uniform supplier, is proud of its "national tailor" title in the industry. "The uniforms worn by troops in the armament formation of the 2019 National Day parade came from Casdilly. We also provide uniforms to the National Guard of Honor, " Li told the Global Times. Having come to understand the situation in Hubei, he felt his company "should do something to help."

Management agreed and took quick action. 

"Problems occur as the production line for protective suits is different from that for our regular clothes. One key feature of hazmat products is that they are seamless, which requires professional sealing machines. Apart from buying them, I also rent and borrow from clients to ensure our products meet technical standards to truly protect medical staff and other personnel on the frontline," Li said.

Isolation suits from Casdilly are categorized as non-sterile protective suits which can't be used in surgery or intensive care units.  

"Ours can play a role in protecting personnel highly likely to be exposed to NCP patients. Like medical staff in outpatient departments, people transporting confirmed or suspected patients, police officials conducting temperature screenings in public places and at inter-provincial highway border stations, grass-root community officials and volunteers meeting many residents as part of their daily routines," Li said.

Policy support

Both Li and Zhang supported local governments by offering to resume operations, contributing to the national fight against the deadly epidemic. Zhang stressed, "It's not easy for private companies like Tutaike to survive and develop well in China. I hope more government policies can favor us in the long term, not just during this special period."

Zhang has promised to increase salaries four-fold for returning employees, which has added extra costs for the company. 

In addition to textile companies Jiangsu, many in Shanghai have also mobilized to shift their priority to protective suits amid the NCP outbreak. 

The Shanghai Three Gun Group, a longstanding undergarments producer, delivered its first batch of protective suits to the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization on Wednesday, after it resumed to work in late January. 

Without previous experience of manufacturing protective suits, the company has had to start from scratch. 

Cai Jianhua, deputy general manager of the Shanghai Three Gun Group, told the Global Times that it took the company just three days to adjust and complete its manufacturing line. 

"The workshop was used for underwear production. We adjusted the manufacturing line in accordance with the technical requirements for protective suits, which included adjusting sewing machine and components," he said.

About 30 workers have been trained to produce the protective suits and the company's current daily production capacity stands at 5,000 suits.

"We are expecting to expand production to 8,000 units per day when the whole supply chain has recovered," he added.



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