London: The British government has ordered 10,000 medical ventilators designed at breakneck speed by vacuum cleaner-maker Dyson, billionaire founder James Dyson said in an email to staff on Wednesday, as the country tries to boost the number of ventilators available to treat coronavirus patients.
The government, in anticipation of cases peaking in Britain in coming weeks, had made an urgent appeal to manufacturers to supply the National Health Service and would also use devices from private hospitals and other sources.
“We have received an initial order of 10,000 units from the UK Government which we will supply on an open-book basis,” James Dyson said in an email to all staff seen by Reuters.
“We are also looking at ways of making it available internationally.” Dyson said since receiving a call from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson 10 days ago, he had refocused resources at Dyson, and worked with TTP, The Technology Partnership, to design and build an entirely new ventilator, The CoVent.
It deployed its expertise in air movement, motors, power systems, manufacturing and supply chain gained from developing products like air purifiers and fans as well as cleaners to develop the ventilator from scratch.
Reuters had reported earlier that British industry expected the government to give the go-ahead for an emergency ventilator production plan on Wednesday.