In context: While the novel coronavirus is spreading across the world, China, the source of the outbreak, has suffered most. The virus has killed almost 3,000 people in the country and has been especially bad in Wenzhou and Hubei, where some Apple employees have been left stranded. But the company is trying to help its workers get through the ordeal by sending them care packages that include iPads.

According to Chinese social network Weibo (spotted by MacRumors), Apple sent employees stranded in Wenzhou and Hubei gift packages made up of face masks, hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes, coffee, tea, and food. They even include a new 10.2-inch iPad, which Apple says can be used to facilitate children’s online learning or to help pass the time at home.

Apple also enclosed a letter, which was addressed to employees.

Dear Colleagues in Hubei and Wenzhou,

We hope this note finds you heathy (sic.) 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. Hubei and the city of Wuhan have been hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak, which has now claimed 2,835 lives in China.

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 the prolonged stay at home.

In addition, a series of counselling and consultation services have been prepared especially for you to help you through this time.

While over half of Apple’s stores have reopened on reduced hours in China, many companies are telling their staff to stay at home. CEO Tim Cook feels that the situation in the country is improving, and noted that some of the factories manufacturing its devices were reopening. "It feels to me that China is getting the coronavirus under control. I mean you look at the numbers, they're coming down day by day by day. And so I'm very optimistic there," he told Fox Business. The company has warned, however, that the impact of the virus means Apple will fall short of its revenue guidance.

Fears over the novel coronavirus have seen GDC postponed and Facebook’s F8 conference and MWC canceled. It could also cause the PC market to shrink by 8.8 percent.