(Reuters) – Fashion group Armani said on Thursday all of its Italian production plants would start producing single use medical overalls, in an effort to support healthcare workers in the coronavirus crisis.

The shortage of protective equipment and other medical devices has been one of the biggest problems dogging the Italian health system since the contagion surfaced in the wealthy northern region of Lombardy at the end of February.

The fashion house, run by designer Giorgio Armani, added it had increased to 2 million euros ($2.20 million), from an initial 1.25 million euros, the funds it donated to Italian hospitals to help them face the virus emergency.

A consortium of Italian textile and fashion companies, coordinated by business association Confindustria Moda, is soon expected to start producing million of protective face masks, with the aim of making Italy self-sufficient in manufacturing the masks.

(Reporting by Claudia Cristoferi, editing by Giulia Segreti)