First ventilators from new UK production run due this weekend

FILE PHOTO: An NHS logo is displayed outside a hospital in London, Britain May 14, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – The first ventilators which Britain has recently ordered from businesses will be completed this weekend and be available to the National Health Service next week, as the country seeks to boost capacity in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.

Countries want more ventilators, mechanical breathing devices that can blow air and oxygen into the lungs, which help people suffering from lung failure, one of the complications of severe COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.

Britain has ordered 10,000 of them from a consortium including Ford, Airbus and McLaren with other companies such as vacuum cleaner-maker Dyson also producing their own equivalents.

“This weekend the first thousands of new ventilator devices will roll off the production line and be delivered to the NHS next week,” cabinet office minister Michael Gove told reporters.

“From there they will be rapidly distributed to the front line.”

On Tuesday, another company, Science Group, said it is negotiating a contract with the government for the production of 10,000 ventilators subject to regulatory approval.

“A working prototype of the Sagentia Ventilator has been produced and 20 trial units are currently in the process of being manufactured,” it said in a statement.

Reporting by Costas Pitas and Elizabeth Howcroft; writing by Costas Pitas; editing by Estelle Shirbon

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