Plugging the Shortages of Medical Masks: Manufacturers Ramp up Production amid Skyrocketing Demand

The global COVID-19 pandemic is expected to generate high demand for essential medical supplies, including personal protective equipment, including medical masks. The trend is expected to continue through the latter part of 2020. On the other hand, the medical masks industry is facing notable shortages in supplies, owing to disruptions in the supply chain and in adequate logistical infrastructure. Consequently, manufacturers are forced to surpass their conventional and contingency capacities, and move towards maintaining crisis capacity standards, during the coming months.

According to a new report by Future Market Insights (FMI), the sales of medical masks are expected to expand 2X and surpass a value pool of US$ 9 Bn by the end of 2030, following a major upturn post 2020, and the coronavirus pandemic. The COVID-19 outbreak has forced manufacturers to concentrate their efforts towards bridging the growing gap between demand and supply. Expanding production capacities is a challenging opportunity for manufacturers, following the unprecedented rise in sales figures. On the other hand, practices of hoarding medical mask supplies by the public is a major problem for the industry in terms of accessibility.

Surgical Masks Favored; N95 Variants Gain Traction

The coronavirus primarily affects patients through a respiratory tract infection. Consequently, surgical masks retain a high level of demand, accounting for 35% of the overall revenue. N95 respirator masks are largely preferred by healthcare professionals, owing to a high level of efficacy, and affordable cost, which is boosting adoption rates even among the general public. These masks are expected to witness higher production rates, following the introduction of favorable public health policies.

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“The unexpected increase in the COVID-19 patient volumes is severely challenging the existing capacities of manufacturing facilities, creating notable shortages around the world. Government bodies such as the CDC are consequently issuing preparedness guidelines, including surge capacity frameworks to prioritize medical mask conservation throughout the treatment period,” says the FMI analyst.

North America to Generate Massive Revenue amid the Pandemic

North America has rapidly become one of the largest markets for medical masks, as the United States has become one of the hardest hit nations in the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. has surpassed 1,000,000 confirmed cases; with thousands more being added every day. This has resulted in a significant increase in the demand for PPE such as medical masks. Retailers in multiple countries have run out of stock, while prices in online platforms has skyrocketed.

East Asia and Europe are also expected to continue providing highly remunerative opportunities. China continues to have a high number of coronavirus cases, despite steady decline in recent weeks.  The EU is also witnessing a spike in demand, with overwhelmed healthcare systems in Italy and Spain.

The FMI study offers near and long-term growth outlook of the medical mask market. Gain access to FMI’s exclusive COVID-19 tracker here.

Source: Future Market Insights

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