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Philippine maker commits 1-M medical chips a week to meet rising demand
A researcher works in a lab that is developing testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus at Hackensack Meridian Health Center for Discovery and Innovation on February 28, 2020 in Nutley, New Jersey. The facility develops novel therapies for some of the worlds most difficult diseases.
Kena Betancur/Getty Images North America/AFP

Philippine maker commits 1-M medical chips a week to meet rising demand

Ian Nicolas Cigaral (Philstar.com) - April 15, 2020 - 4:47pm

MANILA, Philippines — Global demand for Philippine-made electronic chips used for medical supplies has sharply picked up, prompting a local manufacturer to boost production lines and deliver pumped-up orders crucial to the fight against coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19).

In a disclosure to the stock exchange Wednesday, Cirtek Holdings Philippines Corp. said its semiconductor unit, Cirtek Electronics Corp., saw a rise in new orders for chips used to make on-demand medical devices such as ventilators, CT scanners, ultrasounds, thermal scanners and oxygen level monitors.

The company did not go into specifics but mentioned that its plant in Laguna has been on round-the-clock operation for six days a week to deploy orders as scheduled.

To meet rising global demand, the company promised to produce one million chips per week even as the Luzon-wide lockdown prompts it to operate with a skeletal workforce.

“In line with Cirtek’s social responsibility, it is stepping up beyond its call of duty to exert more effort in curbing down the global pandemic,” the company said.

The story is the same for Cirtek's subsidiary in Silicon Valley, where Quintel USA, an antenna solutions company for wireless networks, is scrambling to fill up demand caused by an increase in data traffic from people forced into their homes by global lockdowns meant to put the virus spread under control. 

“Cirtek and its subsidiaries worldwide remain COVID-19 free while adhering to local government policies and measures in ensuring business continuity,” the company said.

The global pandemic has closed down cities and put billions of people in isolation as governments try to get a handle of the highly-contagious disease. In the Philippines, 5,453 COVID-19 cases have been recorded as of Wednesday afternoon, 349 of whom have died while 353 have fully recovered, health department data showed.

Across the globe, more than two million people had been infected while the death toll has topped 125,000.

Local shares of Cirtek closed Wednesday up 12.83%, higher than the benchmark 2.86% uptick.

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