Jinan manufacturing companies contribute to epidemic supplies industry

The epidemic prevention and control supplies industry in Jinan, capital of East China's Shandong province, has developed complete production chains since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

In 2021, the output value of the epidemic prevention and control supplies industry in Jinan has exceeded 10 billion yuan ($1.49 billion). Meanwhile, in the first five months of this year, the scale of the industry surpassed 6 billion yuan, an increase of 65.7 percent year-on-year.

Jinan was the first to build Shandong's first complete mask production line, thanks to its robust manufacturing foundation.

To meet the increasing medical supply demand brought by domestic COVID-19 outbreaks in 2020, local manufacturing companies made efforts to develop and produce the equipment and raw materials for mask production. Statistics showed that the city's daily output of masks significantly increased from 88,000 units in February, 2020 to 10 million units in March, 2020.

Shengquan Group, a major mask producer in Jinan, achieved sales revenue of 2.3 billion yuan in its sanitary protective equipment business in 2020. In April this year, 95.24 million masks were produced in the city, up 186.6 percent year-on-year.

In addition to masks, Jinan enterprises have diversified their production in supplying epidemic prevention materials such as medical equipment, nucleic acid sampling products, and disinfection machines.

"Our products are based on market demand. Once the market demands, we will start to research and develop and put whatever is in demand on the market," said Yuan Wenhu, vice-president of Biobase Group, a manufacturer of laboratory equipment and medical equipment based in Jinan.

The rapid response ability stems not only from the scientific research strength accumulated by the enterprise for many years, but also from the solid industrial foundation and good business environment of Jinan, Yuan added.

Biobase Group began to produce masks in early 2020, followed by virus sampling products, nucleic acid extraction devices, nucleic acid extraction reagents, and makeshift nucleic acid testing facilities.

In 2022, the group obtained the registration certificate for the COVID-19 antigen test kit, and became Jinan's first enterprise with the national registration certificate to produce class III medical devices.

According to Yuan, Biobase Group products have been exported to more than 190 countries and regions. The output value is expected to reach 7 billion yuan, and nearly half of which will be used to make epidemic prevention and control supplies.

The pandemic is a crisis, but also provides an opportunity for the development of Jinan epidemic prevention and control supplies industry, said Zhang Qiliang, director of the biomedical industry department of the Jinan municipal bureau of industry and information technology. The city currently is home to more than 110 epidemic prevention and control supplies companies.

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