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Coronavirus: UK prepares for manufacturing of new ventilators

We’re in receipt of some of the first prototypes, and we expect that manufacturing can start quite quickly."

Britain has received the first prototypes of new ventilators to help the health service handle the coronavirus pandemic, and production of new machines should start soon, housing minister Robert Jenrick said on Sunday.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by offers of support. There’s now a number of manufacturers who are working with us. We’re in receipt of some of the first prototypes, and we expect that manufacturing can start quite quickly,” Jenrick said in an interview with Sky News, adding that around 13,000 ventilators were currently available to Britain’s National Health Service. “But we do need more, and we’re trying to ramp up production as quickly as we can.”

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The UK currently has access to 12,000 ventilators after it bought more from existing providers and manufacturers steeped up further production, said Health Minister Matt Hancock today. 

“We’ve made serious progress on that, there’s now over 12,000 that we’ve managed to get to,” he told BBC Radio. “We started with 5,000 so we’ve been buying ventilators and we’ve also been engaged with companies who are going to turn their production over to ventilators.”

Meanwhile, in the US, Honeywell has expanded its manufacturing operations in Smithfield, Rhode Island, to produce N95 face masks to aid the US Government’s response to the coronavirus. The masks will be delivered to the US Department of Health and Human Services to contribute to the American stockpile for use to support health, safety and emergency response workers.

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