Covid-19: Government orders 10,000 ventilators from Dyson

The government has ordered 10,000 ventilators from Dyson to help deal with the coronavirus crisis, subject to the devices passing stringent medical tests.

The British firm has designed a new type of ventilator in response to a call on behalf of the NHS, with hundreds of engineers working to design the ventilators from scratch. Dyson hopes to build the ventilators at scale from its UK base in Wiltshire - using aircraft hangars that were used to stuff parachutes in the World War Two.

Dyson said it had been working with The Technology Partnership, a medical company based in Cambridge, to develop a ‘meaningful and timely response’ to the government’s call.

Ventilators are vital in the treatment of patients whose lungs have been attacked by the infection.

It is estimated that the NHS will need at least 30,000 ventilators to deal with the potential flood of virus victims. The NHS currently has just over 8,000 ventilators, but the government thinks it can procure a further 8,000 from existing domestic and international suppliers.

In Wales, Health Minister Vaughn Gething has said that the government is looking to increase the number of ventilators. He told a press briefing there were 700 ‘physically available’ and potentially around 1,000 being acquired soon.

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