Coronavirus: Australia to establish 'wartime-style' manufacturing - report

Australia is asking companies to "re-tool" and shift to a "war-time" style of manufacturing in its latest efforts to stymie the spread of coronavirus, according to a report.

Businesses are being urged to work out what they can feasibly manufacture that would help Australia combat COVID-19 - in particular personal hygiene products and protective gear.

Nine News reports that the Australian government is willing to offer a financial package that would incentivise factories to manufacture the likes of masks and hand sanitiser in addition to their normal products.

The financial packages are expected to include funding to pay more staff and buy additional machinery, among other things.

A shift to a 'wartime-style' of manufacturing in Australia is a reference to the country's approach During World War II, when factories were tasked with producing war materials and equipment.

Australia has 411 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and five people have died after becoming infected.

The government is desperate to reduce the spread of the disease, and sees the lack of protective gear and personal hygiene products as something it needs to remediate quickly.

The move follows luxury brand Louis Vuitton's announcement it will start manufacturing hand sanitiser in factories that would normally be used to produce perfume.

Nine News reports the government is edging closer to an agreement with a manufacturer in Victoria and with healthcare manufacturer 3M to produce face masks en masse.