Coronavirus: Government orders 10,000 ventilators from Dyson

Vacuum cleaner manufacturer, Dyson, is to produce 10,000 ventilators for the UK government to help deal with the Coronavirus crisis.

It has been reported that the company had designed a new type of ventilator in response to a call on behalf of the NHS, yet the order is still subject to the devices passing stringent medical tests ­– but that is expected to happen quickly.

The BBC said that Dyson, which is run by British inventor Sir James Dyson, is working with Cambridge-based medical company, The Technology Partnership, and has had hundreds of engineers working “round the clock” to design the ventilators from scratch.

Image credit: Dyson

It is said to be building these “at scale” from its UK base in Wiltshire – using old wartime aircraft hangars – yet “it could take a couple of weeks” for the process to reach a “significant scale”.

Meanwhile, the government has told the BBC that is “picking the low-hanging fruit” by buying as many existing ventilator models as it can, not just from Dyson.

The NHS has just over 8,000 ventilators at present and it’s possible that a further 8,000 can be obtained from existing domestic and international suppliers. However, the government estimates that the NHS will need at least 30,000 ventilators to deal with the increase in patients from the Coronavirus pandemic across the UK.