Japanese Firms Work to Ease Pressure Caused by Virus Pandemic

A number of Japanese companies have increased or adapted their operations to help in the global effort to tackle the coronavirus pandemic

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Medical equipment in a hospital ward
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Japanese companies have stepped up to the plate to contribute to the global effort to fight the coronavirus pandemic, with medical equipment manufacturers ramping up production, automakers adapting to produce supplies for healthcare professionals and digital firms helping struggling businesses reach their markets.

Idled car manufacturers produce vital medical equipment

Automaker, Nissan Motor Co., has started producing face shields at its factories in the United States. The company will donate the shields to medical staff who are risking their health treating patients infected with the coronavirus.

The company is currently making around 1,000 face shields a week for hospitals in the U.S., many of which are running low on essential medical supplies as the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country flood the healthcare system.

With their regular production halted, Nissan’s factories in Mississippi and Tennessee, as well as its research and development facility in Michigan, have been repurposed to manufacture the face shields.

Toyota Motor Corp is another Japanese car manufacturer producing face shields. The car maker is also collaborating with medical equipment companies to speed up the manufacture of ventilators, respirators and other vital devices needed for hospitals.

Nations worldwide are struggling with a shortage of ventilators to treat patients who have difficulty breathing due the pneumonia-like disease caused by the novel coronavirus

Increased production of veterinary ventilators to cope with global shortages

Medical equipment maker, Metran Co., revealed that it was approached by the Japanese government, requesting that the company increase their production of veterinary ventilators to use in the treatment of human coronavirus patients.

The company’s CEO, Kazufuku Nitta said that government officials got in touch with him last month, and that the United States, Britain and India are among over 30 other countries with which he is in talks.

Nations worldwide are struggling with a shortage of ventilators to treat patients who have difficulty breathing due the pneumonia-like disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Metran Co. makes ventilators for humans as well, but according to Nitta, the veterinary devices are simpler, cheaper to produce and easier to operate.

“In a pandemic, there won’t be enough doctors with expert knowledge on site,” Nitta said in a recent interview. “A simple and a safe machine is needed for doctors who are not familiar with the device.”

Digital marketplace allows businesses to reach their audiences during pandemic

Tokyo-based, Custom Media, launched a new digital marketplace called Connect, where SMEs, entrepreneurs, and other local businesses in Japan can get free visibility to promote themselves to the audiences they’re unable to connect with during this ongoing pandemic.

“We are living in unprecedented times,” said Robert Heldt, president and co-founder of Custom Media. “The coronavirus is a global pandemic and the full effects on business are still unknown. What we do know is that the coming downturn is going to hit small and independent businesses sooner and harder than large corporations.”

What do you think of these Japanese companies’ efforts to help during this difficult time? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by Catherine McGuinness

Writer and Journalist with a love for all things Japan.

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