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Apple Temporarily Shuts Down Retail Stores Outside China: CEO Tim Cook

Due to the increasing coronavirus panic, Apple shuts all retail stores outside Greater China

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Apple
Apple has opened all 42 retail stores in China after the new coronavirus situation improved in that country but had shut outlets in Spain and Italy. Pixabay

Realising that new coronavirus is fast spreading wherever there are gatherings of any kind, Apple CEO Tim Cook on Saturday announced to temporarily close all retail stores outside of Greater China till March 27, along with committing $15 million to help with global recovery.

Apple has opened all 42 retail stores in China after the new coronavirus situation improved in that country but had shut outlets in Spain and Italy.

“We will be closing all of our retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27. We are committed to providing exceptional service to our customers. Our online stores are open at www.apple.com, or you can download the Apple app on the App Store,” Cook said in a statement. For service and support, customers can visit support.apple.com.

Earlier, a US retail store at Willow Grove Park in Pennsylvania was closed on orders from the state’s governor, reports Apple Insider. Pennsylvania has shut down schools, community centres, gyms and entertainment venues in Montgomery County for two weeks.

Apple
Apple News has launched a new COVID-19 section, where users can find the latest verified reporting from trusted news outlets. Pixabay

Over the years, Apple has expanded the number of retail locations and its geographical coverage, with over 500 stores across 25 countries worldwide. Cook said at all of the offices, “we are moving to flexible work arrangements worldwide outside of Greater China”.

“That means team members should work remotely if their job allows, and those whose work requires them to be on site should follow guidance to maximize interpersonal space. Extensive, deep cleaning will continue at all sites. In all our offices, we are rolling out new health screenings and temperature checks,” the Apple CEO informed.

“We’re also announcing that we are matching our employee donations two-to-one to support COVID-19 response efforts locally, nationally and internationally,” he added. Apple said its hourly workers will continue to receive pay in alignment with business operations as usual.

“We have expanded our leave policies to accommodate personal or family health circumstances created by COVID-19, including recovering from an illness, caring for a sick loved one, mandatory quarantining, or childcare challenges due to school closures,” said Cook.

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Apple News has launched a new COVID-19 section, where users can find the latest verified reporting from trusted news outlets.

The company has announced that its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will be in an entirely new online format this year. (IANS)

Next Story

Cancer Patients Work Together to Make Surgical Masks in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan Cancer Patients Make Face Masks to Fight COVID-19

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A group of cancer patients in Kyrgyzstan is working to meet the demand for protective surgical masks while earning funds to help pay for their treatments. Pixabay

A group of cancer patients in Kyrgyzstan is working to meet the demand for protective surgical masks while earning funds to help pay for their treatments.

The group is organized by an association known as “Together for Life,” established in July 2019. Originally, the group made handbags and purses as a kind of therapy, as well as financial aid for women overcoming cancer.

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But once the demand for masks increased, the president of the group, Aigul Kydyrmysheva, told The Associated Press that they received permission from the Ministry of Health to switch to making the protective gear.

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Members of a public association, which comprises people suffering from various types of cancer, produce medical masks, which are widely used as a preventive measure against the coronavirus outbreak, in a sewing workshop in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. VOA

Kydyrmysheva said they market their products through social media and that while bigger factories can produce masks faster, many customers have turned to them, understanding that their profits go to a good cause.

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The group works nearly round-the-clock, making as many as 1,000 masks a day, which earns them about $2,500 a month. In turn, they have been able to allocate about $770 a month to offset cancer treatment drugs. (VOA)