May 8, 2020 / 9:03 AM / 24 days ago

Sony to make, donate face shields to Japan hospitals

A view of the Sony booth during the 2020 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. January 8, 2020. REUTERS/Steve Marcus/Files

TOKYO (Reuters) - Sony Corp said on Friday it will manufacture and donate medical face shields to hospitals in Japan, amid worries about the availability of protective equipment for healthcare workers dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

Sony joins a growing list of global companies such as Boeing and Exxon Mobil helping to provide hospitals with face shields, which protect frontline workers from potential virus-containing droplets released by coughing, sneezing and other forms of close contact.

The Japanese technology and entertainment company said it has begun producing face shields repurposed from eye shields normally used by surgeons to view images on Sony’s 3D medical monitors.

Sony said it will also help mass produce ventilators designed and developed by medical goods maker ACOMA Medical Industry Co. Production is due to begin in July, with plans to manufacture 500 units by the end of September.

Japan has reported over 16,000 coronavirus cases and 603 deaths from the flu-like respiratory illness.

Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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