In support of efforts to combat the global spread of COVID-19, Fast Retailing (parent company of Uniqlo) has enlisted the help of its manufacturing partners in China to procure approximately 10 million masks.
These masks will be donated to high-priority medical facilities in Japan and in other locations around the world where there is an urgent need for protective wear, including masks.
In Japan, Fast Retailing will donate one million masks to the Japanese government, to be used primarily by medical institutions and nursing facilities. The masks will be distributed around the country to high-priority locations including medical facilities.
According to the World Health Organization, as of March 26 Japan has 1,291 confirmed cases of coronavirus COVID-19.
Today the #COVID19 Solidarity Response Fund reached over $100M in donations & pledges from individuals & orgs. This outpouring of support to stop the #coronavirus is heartwarming. A huge THANK YOU from @WHO & our wonderful partners @unfoundation & SPF! https://t.co/mRCMYYtASW
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) March 26, 2020
Uniqlo Provides Worldwide Assistance
A critical shortage of protective masks exists at medical facilities around the world, where the COVID-19 disease has caused an escalating health emergency. This includes markets where Fast Retailing operates; namely Italy, where roughly 75,000 cases have been confirmed, and the United States, where around 65,000 cases have been confirmed.
Fast Retailing will donate one million masks to each country through its local Uniqlo offices starting late March. These masks will be supplied to local medical facilities through the Milan City government and New York State government.
Other companies have committed similar pledges, with Apple CEO Tim Cook reporting on Twitter that 10 million masks will be donated within the US and millions more for the hardest hit regions in Europe. Mark Zuckerberg wrote that Facebook is committing $10 million to the CDC Foundation’s Combat Coronavirus Fundraiser.
Proud to share we’ve been able to source 10M masks for the US and millions more for the hardest hit regions in Europe. Our ops teams are helping to find and purchase masks from our supply chain in coordination with governments around the world. pic.twitter.com/uTsA6eA5ks
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) March 25, 2020
Fast Retailing is considering ways to provide additional support around the world as specific needs become clear. This includes those European markets where the virus continues to spread, such as Spain, where so far approximately 47,000 cases have been confirmed, Germany, France, and the U.K., as well as Asia, where in South Korea the number of confirmed cases remains at around 9,000.
Since the rapid emergence of COVID-19 in January, through its Uniqlo businesses in China, South Korea and Southeast Asia, Fast Retailing has provided support including product donations of Heattech, Airism and down jackets to medical staff, in addition to financial contributions to NGOs.