UK hopes newly made ventilators will be ready for coronavirus fight next week

A man wearing a surgical face mask sits with other passengers on the concourse at King's Cross train station in London on March 19, 2020.
A man wearing a surgical face mask sits with other passengers on the concourse at King's Cross train station in London on March 19, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - Britain said on Friday (March 20) its scramble to produce thousands of ventilators to fight the coronavirus outbreak was achieving results, as top companies have already produced a prototype and it should be ready for use in hospitals by the end of next week.

"More than half a dozen companies have already made one in prototype, to check with us that we are happy with the quality," Health Secretary Matt Hancock told BBC TV.

"It's unbelievable. In a matter of days, some of these top engineering companies have already turned their hand to this effort and already got their prototypes out.

"We need as many as you can possibly make and we will buy them because if we end up with too many for the NHS (National Health Service) that is a great problem to have and there's other countries round the world that need ventilators. No number is too big."