Sony to make and donate face shields to Japan hospitals amid coronavirus crisis
Tokyo - 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.
Fujifilm Holdings Corp said it will start phase II clinical trials of its anti-flu drug Avigan for COVID-19 patients in the United States.
The trial will enrol about 50 COVID-19 patients in collaboration with Brigham and Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Fujifilm said on Thursday.
On March 31, Fujifilm announced the start of a phase III clinical trial of Avigan for COVID-19 patients in Japan
The coronavirus pandemic battered Asian economies in April with social-distancing policies and business closures taking a particularly heavy toll on the region's service sector firms, surveys showed.
Japan has reported over 16 000 coronavirus cases and 603 deaths from the flu-like respiratory illness.