Industry races to meet demand for ventilators
Paris: Manufacturers are on a mission to produce desperately needed medical ventilators for the coronavirus pandemic, even if it means converting assembly lines now making auto parts.
Along with a shortage of masks and gloves, the spread of COVID-19 to almost every corner of the globe has highlighted a great need for specialised machines that help keep severely afflicted patients alive.
"As the global pandemic evolves, there is unprecedented demand for medical equipment, including ventilators," said Kieran Murphy, head of GE Healthcare.
The group has hired more workers and is now making them around the clock.
Swedish group Getinge is also ramping up output to meet what it called exponential growth in demand from around the world.
All the equipment that is normally used for demonstrations, training or trade fairs was immediately made available for clients, a statement said.
French group Air Liquide has plans to raise its ventilator production from 500 a month to 1,100 in April.
Draeger, a German medical tech giant, says it has doubled the number of ventilators as well, while Loewenstein has a government order for 6,500 over the coming three months. - AFP
It had already begun to raise production in February owing to the strong demand from China.