Dyson promises 15,000 ventilators 'in weeks' – and two-thirds will go directly to NHS
DYSON has vowed to produce 15,000 medical ventilators completely from scratch – to help tackle the coronavirus crisis.
It comes after a call from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson for manufacturers to chip in with a national effort to stock up the NHS.
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Exactly 10,000 of the ventilators will be shipped directly to the NHS as per a government-placed order.
These are set to be delivered "within weeks", pending regulatory approval expected by Friday.
Sir James Dyson – the firm's billionaire founder – has also offered to pay for a further 5,000 ventilators.
Of these, 4,000 will be given to other countries as a donation.
In a note from James Dyson seen by The Sun, the billionaire said: "As with any battle, there are many challenges to overcome, not least the availability of essential equipment which in this case means ventilators.
"A ventilator supports a patient who is no longer able to maintain their own airways but sadly there is currently a significant shortage, both in the UK and other countries around the world.
"Since I received a call from Boris Johnson ten days ago, we have refocused resources at Dyson.
"This new device can be manufactured quickly, efficiently and at volume. It is designed to address the specific clinical needs of Covid-19 patients, and it is suited to a variety of clinical settings."
Ventilators are a key tool in the fight against coronavirus.
COVID-19 patients who become seriously ill can often struggle with respiratory issues.
Using medical ventilators provides a patient's lungs with oxygen – and removes carbon dioxide.
This can keep a patient stable and alive when their lungs would otherwise fail.
The issue is serious: coronavirus has killed over 450 people in the UK, and more than 20,000 globally.
Britain's NHS currently has access to more than 12,000 ventilators.
But the Government reportedly hopes to secure at least 60,000 ventilators to ensure all patients who need lung support can be helped.
The UK was not previously a major manufacturer of ventilators, which means third-party firms are being roped in to produce them.
Dyson's new CoVent model was designed in just 10 days, in partnership with a Cambridge medical firm called The Technology Partnership.
Hundreds of engineers are working on the project, which will be built from Dyson's Wiltshire site.
However, Dyson expects several weeks of waiting before the device can be produced at scale.
According to health minister Matt Hancock, 7,563 former doctors and nurses have answered the call to rejoin the NHS.
The Health Secretary said: “These are difficult times and they have risen to the call of the nation's needs and we know that many more will join them.”
Ventilators help severely ill patients to breathe when their lungs are damaged by pneumonia, caused by the coronavirus.
Firms including Airbus, Rolls-Royce, Nissan and JCB are among those who have been asked to help produce up to 30,000 in as little as two weeks.
Researchers at the University of East Anglia have launched a project to 3D print ventilator parts to support the battle against Covid-19.
Prof Ben Garrod, from UEA, said: “Printing off ventilator components, specialist masks and other equipment will, I'm sure, help those frontline NHS staff save lives across the country in the time ahead.”
In other news, a new WhatsApp coronavirus chatbot has been launched by the UK government.
Former Nasa scientist Mark Rober used "glow powder" to show just how quickly germs spread.
And here are some of the spurious conspiracy theories surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.
What else do you think tech firms should be doing to help tackle the coronavirus crisis? Let us know in the comments!
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