Coronavirus: Government To Order 10,000 Ventilators From Dyson

The British government has ordered 10,0000 ventilators from vacuum cleaner firm Dyson, in preparation for mass causalities due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The order, according to the BBC, is still subject to the devices passing stringent medical tests but that is expected to happen quickly.

Dyson is not the only supplier the British government is approaching, with the government buying as many existing models as it can. Other groups of manufacturing companies including Airbus and GKN, are also reportedly working on their own ventilators, using a more traditional design.

Dyson design

It is reported that currently the NHS has just over 8,000 ventilators, and the government believes it can procure a further 8,000 from existing domestic and international suppliers.

The bad news is that the government estimates the NHS will need at least 30,000 to deal with the potential flood of virus victims.

Dyson is perhaps best known for its range of vacuum cleaners, but in recent years has branched out in fans, hair driers, and even at one stage electric cars.

However in October last year Dyson admitted that its development of an electric car had been axed, after the firm said it “simply cannot make it commercially viable.”

New ventilator

The firm, headed by British inventor Sir James Dyson, said it had designed a new type of ventilator in response to a call on behalf of the NHS.

Now Dyson reportedly has hundreds of engineers working round the clock to design a new type of ventilator from scratch. It is said to be working with The Technology Partnership, a medical company based in Cambridge.

It hopes to build the ventilators at scale from its UK base in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.

Dyson insiders have told the BBC they have a working prototype, designed and built from scratch, which has been tested on humans and is “ready to go”.

The UK is currently preparing for the worst, after the Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday 22 March, implemented an unprecedented three week lock-down in the UK, with people only allowed to leave their house for ‘essential shopping’ such as food and medicine, or to check on the elderly.

That means that all non-essential shops including clothing stores, libraries and electronic shops have been ordered to close.

The three week UK lock-down for example would theoretically end around 12/13 April, depending on the state of the pandemic.

As of Thursday 26 March, data from the World Health Organisation shows that there are 492,465 Coronavirus cases around the world, with a total death toll of 22,180.

Italy (and Spain) have now over taken China (where the pandemic originated) for deaths.

Italy has 74,386 cases with 7,503 deaths, and Spain has 56,188 cases with 4,089 deaths.

The UK in comparison is currently sitting at 9,529 cases with 465 deaths.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

View Comments

  • Except it's not a Dyson design, and it might not pass the tests first time if ever, so unlikely any would get delivered in time to be useful. But the govt will still eventually pay for them anyway.

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