Healthcare is one of the main segments of the 3M Company (3M), which stepped up the global output of its respirator mask production to two billion annually to meet the mounting demand for masks in fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. This led to a staggering 500% rise in influencer conversations on ‘masks’ in Twitter during March-September 2020 compared to the previous seven months, reveals GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Smitarani Tripathy, Influencer Expert at GlobalData, comments: “During March-September 2020, influencer conversations around 3M on Twitter increased by 300% compared to the previous seven months. 3M came into the spotlight during the pandemic due to the rapid growth in demand for N95 respirator masks, one of the critical healthcare equipment to prevent COVID-19. The company, being a top manufacturer of N95 respirator masks, has responded quickly to the unprecedented global health crisis by increasing the mask production.”
N95 respirator mask became a household name during the pandemic. Frontline workers such as healthcare employees and first responders whose jobs have been deemed essential and patients fighting the deadly virus have adopted N95 respirator mask as one of the best lines of defense for COVID-19.
Ms Tripathy continues: “In April, there was a dramatic rise in influencer conversations around 3M and masks on influencer platform, led by an intensified conflict between Trump Administration and 3M, over the distribution of respirator mask and to meet the urgent demand in the US.”
The US being the most affected country, 3M agreed to import masks from overseas to meet the domestic demand while continued to export to Canada and Mexico. The company partnered with the Department of Defense to increase its monthly domestic production of N95 respirator masks to 96 million by October, three times higher than its capacity.
3M has come up with various strategies and legal efforts to stop fraud related to price gauging on its healthcare products. It is working with e-commerce companies like Alibaba.com, Amazon.com and eBay to find out entities which are into price-gauging and selling fake or defective N95 respirator masks. The company also teamed with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to develop an innovative rapid antigen test for COVID-19.
Ms Tripathy concludes: “3M company has been proactive in its response to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The company is working relentlessly to meet the overwhelming demand for the gold standard N95 respirator masks and other critical health care supplies. The company’s dedication to innovative solutions and enhancement of production facilities is likely to continue to cater to the rising global demand.”