The Royal Mint is to manufacture nearly two million medical visors to help protect NHS staff from coronavirus across England and Wales.
Engineers developed a successful prototype in 48 hours, and already 150,000 have been made for hospitals.
Production has moved to 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at the Royal Mint’s site in Llantrisant, South Wales.
The Royal Mint, which is more commonly known for making coins and investment products, has transformed its visitor attraction into an emergency production line – making more than 100,000 medical visors per week.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, who is also Master of the Mint, said: “It’s vital our brave NHS workers have the protective equipment they need to safely care for those affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
“I applaud the Royal Mint for refocusing their efforts and working around the clock to play their part during this national emergency.”
Companies including Brammer, TJ Morgan and Technical Foam Services have worked with the Royal Mint to source the components needed.
In addition to producing medical visors, the Royal Mint has worked closely with the NHS to provide other support, including helping to design and print Covid-19 awareness cards for staff at the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board.
Anne Jessopp, chief executive of the Royal Mint, added: “We want to play our part in the fight against coronavirus by providing NHS staff with the protective equipment they need to keep the nation and themselves safe.
“When people think of the Royal Mint, they think about the coins in their pockets, but we’ve been making useful products for the nation for 1,100 years and have a team of skilled designers, engineers and production staff.
“Together they turned a rudimentary visor design into a working model in just 48 hours, and within a week we were manufacturing thousands per day.”