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Biz groups step up to provide quarantine supplies in virus fight

Industry 13:53 March 25, 2020

SEOUL, March 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korean conglomerates are using their global networks and resources to help provide quarantine supplies here, industry insiders said Wednesday, as they step up support for the country's fight against the novel coronavirus.

Major business groups like Samsung and LG have already donated cash and offered their facilities to be used as virus treatment centers. But they are also ramping up their efforts to provide quarantine supplies like protective facial masks and protective suits.

Samsung Group dispatched its engineers to three mask producing firms and helped them increase their output by optimizing manufacturing processes and equipment settings.

Hwajin Industry Co., a mask producer, said its daily mask production capacity increased from 40,000 units to 100,000 units following Samsung engineers' help.

This photo taken by the Korea Disaster Relief Association on March 10, 2020, shows quarantine supplies prepared by Samsung Group and the Korea Disaster Relief Association to help people in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Samsung's mold processing development center in Gwangju also built molds for face mask manufacturing. Samsung said it usually takes a month for mask producers to receive molds from overseas, but its center delivered them in a week.

Using its global network, Samsung said its affiliates in foreign countries secured 284,000 face masks and donated all of them to the Korea Disaster Relief Association.

Samsung's overseas affiliates also signed contracts with foreign mask filter makers, and they have so far delivered 53 tons of mask filters to South Korea's procurement agency.

Also using its global network, LG Group earlier this month decided to donate 10,000 protective suits, 2,000 protective glasses and 100,000 face masks to health workers in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province, where more than 80 percent of the country's COVID-19 cases have been reported.

SK hynix Inc., South Korea's No. 2 chipmaker, donated masks and protective suits that it received from the Wuxi municipal government in China. SK hynix operates its chip fabrication plant in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, in China.

SK hynix received 450,000 masks and 5,000 protective suits from the Wuxi government. The company said all of those quarantine supplies were imported to South Korea, except for 2,000 protective suits that were reserved for employees at the Wuxi plant.

kdon@yna.co.kr
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