Apple has sent out care packages to its employees in Hubei and Wenzhou in China due to the COVID-19 outbreak, MacRumors reports. The “CareKit” includes items such as butter cookies, Hershey’s candies, tea, hand sanitiser and a 10.2-inch iPad.
Accompanying the items is a letter from Apple which expresses the company’s empathy towards the difficulties its employees and families are facing. The letter also details Apple’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) in partnership with ComPsych which is available to employees and families. EAP provides a wide range of assistance including counselling and consultation services.
This is the contents of the letter, originally posted on Weibo:
Dear Colleagues in Hubei and Wenzhou:
We hope this note finds you healthy and well.
Since the last communication with you, we understand that you are all staying strong in this challenging time. We understand the difficulties you are facing and would like to provide our best support to you and your families.
We are sending our best wishes to you on behalf of the entire Apple Team, together, with another CareKit for you and your families. In the kit, you will find comfort items and an iPad which can be used to facilitate children’s online learning or help pass the time during your prolonged stay away from your home.
It is reported that over half of Apple Stores have reopened in China although operating on shortened hours. Many retail, corporate and manufacturing staff remain at home. Apple temporarily closed all its 42 stores in mainland China early last month.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said recently that employee health and safety is priority amidst the challenges of the coronavirus outbreak. Last month he outlined plans for the company to donate to groups on the ground helping to support all of those affected.
Apple reported stunning numbers in its quarterly earnings call in February, where it smashed iPhone sales expectations, spearheaded by brisk sales of the iPhone 11. iPhone revenues topped USD 55.96 billion versus USD51.92 billion forecasted by analysts.
However, Cook warned that the virus outbreak might affect sales for the next quarter.
As it stands (29 Feb), there are 85,403 confirmed cases of infection across 53 countries. In China, the source of the coronavirus, there are 79,394 cases resulting in 2,838 deaths so far. Outside of China, there are a total of 6,009 confirmed cases with 86 deaths to date. On the positive side, as of 27 February, there are 36,117 cases who have recovered from COVID-19 in China.
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