Coronavirus: Apple CEO talks about China stores, steps to keep employees safe and more

Cook talked about the Apple’s donation for the treatment, what is the situation in China right now and what all are being done in Apple offices to keep the employees safe.
By HT CORRESPONDENT
| Updated on Mar 14 2020, 01:34 PM IST
Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc.
Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc. (Bloomberg)

Apple CEO Tim Cook has listed out the efforts made by the company in order to tackle COVID-19 (coronavirus outbreak). Cook talked about the Apple's donation for the treatment, what is the situation in China right now and what all are being done in Apple offices to keep the employees safe. He started off by saying that Apple's donation has reached $15 million worldwide for the treatment of those who are affected with coronavirus. The company is also matching employee donations two-to-one to support COVID-19 response on the local, national and international level.

He adds that while the rate of infection has declined in China, the effect is still being 'strongly felt'. Cook confirmed that all the Apple stores in China have opened up. However, all the stores outside of Greater China will stay closed until March 27 but the online stores will stay open.

Also read: Apple moves WWDC online amidst coronavirus concerns

"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 Store app on the App Store. For service and support, customers can visit support.apple.com," he said.

In Apple offices, Cook says that the management is moving to flexible work arrangements worldwide outside of Greater China. This means that team members have the liberty to work from home. For those whose work requires them to stay on site, they would have to follow guidance to maximize interpersonal space. All this comes in addition to deep cleaning of all the sites along with installments of new health screenings and temperature checks.

Also read: Apple Stores to stop Apple Watch, AirPod try-ons due to coronavirus

The hourly workers will continue to get paid "in alignment with business as usual operations," said the CEO. Also, the firm has expanded leave policies to accommodate personal or family health circumstances created by COVID-19. This includes recovering from illness, caring for a sick loved one, mandatory quarantining, or childcare challenges due to school closures.

To keep end users updated with all the latest news about coronavirus, Apple News app now has a dedicated COVID-19 section. The section will show news from verified news outlets.

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First Published Date: 14 Mar, 01:32 PM IST
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