April 2, 2020 / 6:33 PM / 4 months ago

Ford to build face shields at Brazil and Argentina car plants

FILE PHOTO: The corporate logo of Ford is seen at Brussels Motor Show, Belgium January 9, 2020. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir - RC2ECE94DA9O/File Photo

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co (F.N) said on Thursday it will make 50,000 face shields at factories in Brazil and Argentina to donate in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The accelerating outbreak has triggered global shortages of protective equipment such as face shields, sending prices higher and forcing doctors to reuse old ones or go without them.

Brazil’s government has struggled to buy additional medical supplies from China, as Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta accused the United States of scooping up gear and leaving suppliers to cancel their contracts with Brazil.

Ford said it is also helping with efforts in Brazil to fix old mechanical respirators, as part of a task force including several other manufacturers.

Brazil has more coronavirus cases than any other country in Latin America, with almost 7,000 confirmed cases and 241 deaths.

Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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