LONDON, Mar 30 (Reuters) – The UK has ordered more than 10,000 respirators from a consortium of leading Formula One aerospace, engineering and racing companies, and production will start this week.
The group, which includes Airbus, BAE Systems, Ford and seven Formula One teams, has indicated that it plans to get the go-ahead from regulators very soon for its design, which is based on existing technologies.
“This consortium brings together some of the most innovative companies in the world,” said Dick Elsy, head of the consortium, in a statement. “I am confident that this consortium has the skills and tools to make a difference and save lives.”
The United Kingdom, which initially only had 5,000 mechanical ventilators or ventilators in its National Health Service (NHS), has encountered difficulties in obtaining additional supplies of these devices, which can save the lives of people with complications from COVID-19 .
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, now isolated on Downing Street after testing positive for the coronavirus test, made an emergency appeal earlier this month for manufacturers to start producing specialized medical supplies, including respirators.
The government said it needed 30,000 artificial respiration machines. Currently, the UK has some 8,000 respirators and there is an order to receive an additional 8,000 orders from international manufacturers expected in the coming weeks.
(translated by Tomás Cobos)