Leipzig Opera tailors have switched their production from costumes to facemasks and other protective clothing amid the coronavirus outbreak, as footage filmed at the Schauspiel theatre on Friday shows.

Leipzig Opera house has been closed by the State since March 19 in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus. Some of their tailors have set up a production line in Schauspiel theatre and other locations around Leipzig.

"We make beautiful costumes here for all theatres in the city of Leipzig," said Leipzig Opera costume director, Silke Wey.

"So, we were of course well prepared to manufacture these protective items of clothing," She added.

The tailors have already produced around 2,000 facemasks and 2,400 protective gowns last week, to help curb the demand for the protective textiles used by medical and clerical staff across Germany.

But working during lockdown has not been without its problems, Wey explained.

"We have converted all our production workshops in order to comply with the (coronavirus) safety regulations, and abide by the necessary distances." Staff had to be given extra training to produce some of the items.

The production line has been organised into rows so that one tailor "produces the arms, the next [does] the side seams, so that we have as little contact."

The clothes are sterilised at the end before being distributed to surrounding hospitals, Wey said.

According to the latest figures compiled from global reports by Johns Hopkins University, at least 556,269 people have been infected by COVID-19 worldwide and over 25,250 people have died. There are 49,344 cases confirmed in Germany with at least 304 fatalities as of Friday.

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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