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Baxter International announced it will hire an additional 2,000 manufacturing workers as demand soars for hospital products amid the coronavirus pandemic. Eight-hundred of those workers will join the health care company's U.S. operations.
“The heroic work by healthcare providers and first responders to care for those with COVID-19 inspires us all. We are committed to doing everything we can to support the healthcare system, our employees and our communities during this unprecedented time,” Baxter chairman and CEO José Almeida said in a press release Wednesday. “Given that demand is at extraordinary levels, it is critical that we prioritize getting our products where they are most needed – hospitals that are being overwhelmed by an influx of patients who are critically ill from COVID-19.”
Baxter says it has boosted its capacity and production to help address high demand for the company's products, including PrisMax and Prismaflex, its blood purification systems used to treat acute kidney injury and other conditions, as well as its Mini-Bag Plus drug delivery system, its Spectrum IQ Infusion system and "accompanying I.V. administration sets, I.V. solutions, and injectable drugs" used in hospitals and intensive care units.
The company is also increasing its access to "air freight capacity" with plans to begin flights between the United States and Europe this week to help the company transport critically needed medical devices and medicines to hospitals as quickly as possible.
In addition to supplying hospitals with medical supplies, the Baxter International Foundation is donating more than $2 million to the company's relief partners in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America to support communities impacted by the coronavirus. This effort includes a $1 million grant to Save the Children, which is working around the world to provide supplies, training and information to support health care workers on the front lines and keep families safe.
Baxter International has also taken a series of protective measures to ensure the health and safety of its employees, including providing workers with personal protective equipment and screening, allowing remote work arrangements for office-based employees, restricting travel and modifying manufacturing operations to limit employee interaction, according to the release.
The company has also instituted a "special pandemic incentive" for front-line workers as well as a volunteer program allowing Baxter employees with appropriate medical training to take a leave of absence to volunteer in impacted communities.
|BAX||BAXTER INTERNATIONAL INC.||88.20||+1.76||+2.04%|
Baxter International stock closed at $86.89 per share at the end of Wednesday's trading session.