Swiss companies overcome supply bottlenecks and ramp up mask production.
Switzerland has struggled to import enough face masks to protect its population, but help is in sight. A company in the northeastern canton of St Gallen has just started producing them in large numbers. Flawa Consumer GmbH is planning to make several hundred thousand pieces per week of the universal masks intended for individuals and companies rather than hospital staff. Production began a few days ago. The company had planned to start production in March, but the corona crisis has taken its toll on deliveries of raw materials. CEO Claude Riese was able to purchase supplies in Germany and Poland, while the nose clip and elastic bands are made in Switzerland. Smaller companies are also working around the clock to help contribute to domestic supplies. Lanz-Anliker in canton Bern produces mostly handmade reusable masks, and plans to step up production from 2,000 to 3,000 per day. Wero, a company in canton Aargau, is starting to produce hygiene masks for health professionals. Meanwhile, in a change from his regular business of real estate, hotels and restaurants, a Geneva-based businessman is now chartering planes from China to bring in more ready-made masks. Abdallah Chatila, director of m3 Groupe, has ordered 140 million masks.