NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city is about to become self-sufficient for personal protective equipment and COVID-19 testing kits in its fight against coronavirus thanks to new manufacturing here and help from a small city in the Midwest.
De Blasio outlined a new “Made in NY” initiative in which eight NYC-based producers will be creating face shields and surgical gowns needed for hospital staff treating coronavirus patients.READ MORE: FBI Executes Search Warrant At Home Of Gabby Petito's Fiancé Brian Laundrie
The mayor also praised a city in Indiana that not only donated 50,000 testing kits previously but has committed its Aria Diagnostics laboratory to produce 50,000 more kits a week for New York City use during the outbreak.
“New Yorkers wouldn’t have thought that the cavalry would come from Carmel, Indiana, but it has,” said de Blasio during his daily COVID-19 briefings. “This is going to be a big piece of the solution going forward. We’re going to need a huge number of test kits.”
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Each kit requires three main components – swabs, testing mediums and tubes – to verify the presence of COVID-19 infection in someone.
In addition to the Indiana manufacturer, de Blasio said in a few weeks another 50,000 test kits per week would be made entirely with components produced and assembled by NYC-based companies, universities and local workers starting on Monday, April 20.READ MORE: Yonkers Police: 2 Men Dead After One Jumps Off Building And Hits The Other 12 Stories Below
“The whole international supply was disrupted but now, through the ingenuity of New York City producers, we figured out a way to make them right here,” said de Blasio. “Production will begin in a few weeks at the beginning of May.”
The mayor tapped the city’s Economic Development Corporation to plan further local production of needed supplies.
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“I want to challenge the research labs, I want to challenge the manufacturers, I want to challenge the 3d printers, all the companies with 3d printing the biotech companies, pharmaceutical companies, the research universities, the chemical companies,” he said. “If you’re in New York City or you’re in any part of the New York area or anywhere in the country and you want to help build this effort, we need you.”
De Blasio remained critical of federal support and supplies which have not been delivered to New York City during the crisis.
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“I want to be crystal clear this does not let the federal government off the hook,” he said. “Even though I’m telling you good news, and something unprecedented and a real breakthrough, it does not take away the responsibility.”MORE NEWS: New York City Public Schools To Increase COVID Testing, Relax Quarantine Rules
Firms interested in participating in the “Made In New York” PPE and kit production can contact the Economic Development Corporation at TestHelp@edc.nyc.