Ford and Dyson start urgent production of COVID ventilators - VIDEO
The UK government has urged manufacturers including aerospace and engineering group Rolls-Royce and vacuum company Dyson to produce this essential equipment.
The World Health Organization has urged all countries to "optimize the availability" of lung ventilation equipment.
Oxygen therapy is the major treatment intervention for patients with severe Covid-19," the organization said.
James Dyson, billionaire founder of the company best known for its vacuum cleaners and hand dryers, confirmed the order in a letter to employees, CNN reported.
CoVent –designed for coronavirus patients
Dyson said the company had designed and built an entirely new ventilator, called the "CoVent," since he received a call 10 days ago from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
"This new device can be manufactured quickly, efficiently and at volume," Dyson added, saying that the new ventilator has been designed to "address the specific needs" of coronavirus patients.
The ventilators will be ready by early April
A spokesperson for the company said the ventilators would be ready by early April. James Dyson wrote in his letter that he would also donate 5,000 units to the international effort to tackle the pandemic.
The core challenge was how to design and deliver a new, sophisticated medical product in volume and in an extremely short space of time," he added. "The race is now on to get it into production."
In the United States, Ford (F) has announced that it's working with 3M and GE Healthcare to produce medical equipment including ventilators and protective gear. GM (GM) and Tesla (TSLA) have also pledged to make ventilators.
Listen more about Ford’s production of ventilators and air-pressure masks for doctors - in the VIDEO: