Billionaire inventor James Dyson has said his electronics business is "working solidly" on creating ventilators for the NHS in the coronavirus pandemic. His device is called the CoVent and is specifically meant to support coronavirus patients.
Ahead of an expected surge of cases that could overwhelm Britain's publicly funded health service, Prime Minister Boris Johnson made an urgent appeal to manufacturers 10 days ago to build ventilators to help keep patients alive.
The technology company Dyson's announcement that the Government has ordered 10,000 of its newly designed coronavirus ventilators has sparked a row amid claims approved designs should be prioritised. The government is also acquiring the life-saving devices from private hospitals and global producers.
But he stressed that any design would need regulatory approval.
The devices, which are reportedly set to be available for use from next month (April), are powered by the Dyson Digital Motor which has been re-engineered by Dyson to meet the requirements of the ventilator.
A second British company, Gtech, is also working on the production of fans and has submitted two examples to the government for evaluation.
Not just Dyson, other companies like Ford, GM and Tesla have also joined in the fight by producing medical equipment including ventilators and protective gear. Dyson, which has a wealth of $ 10 billion according to Bloomberg, wrote in his letter that he would also donate 5,000 units to the worldwide pandemic effort.
The British government declined to comment on the exact timing or details of the ventilator production plan.
Smiths' portable ParaPac ventilator is the other machine the group aims to manufacture, according to a report by the Guardian newspaper.
The companies have all sprung into action after the government said it needed another 30,000 ventilators to save the lives of patients who develop complications with Covid-19.
Britain now has about 8,000 ventilators with another 8,000 on order to come into the health system in a week or so.