Coronavirus: UK firm helps breathe life back into SA's old ventilators

Coronavirus: UK firm helps breathe life back into SA's old ventilators

- A UK company has decided to help South Africa redesign one of their old model ventilators

- The company had initially declined to help but has changed its mind

- An NGO plans to manufacture the ventilators locally

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Penlon, a UK based company has changed its mind and has decided to help supply South Africa with ventilators. The company has previously declined to help.

A group of South African businessmen, doctors and engineers approached the company for assistance in reverse engineer and old ventilator the company had made almost 40 years ago.

Penlon told News24 that they did not believe that the ventilator would be profitable, although the company has supplied the NHS (National Health Service) in the UK as part of its response to the virus. learned that Justin Corbett, the leader of the group that approached Penlon, was told that the company did not have time to look for the old technical documents for the old ventilator design.

However, the company has changed its mind and has supplied Justin with the technical drawings and documents for him to manufacture it locally.

As of now, there are no locally manufactured ventilators. Corbett's group is part of a non-profit NGO called South African Emergency Ventilator Project (SAEVP).

South Africa has approximately 4000 ventilators, half are in the public sector and the other half in private facilities.

Only a small fraction of cases of coronavirus need to be treated with a ventilator, but if the number of critical cases increases it may be that South Africa will not have enough ventilators to meet the demand.

In other news, reported on a KZN hospital that might have to close after 11 workers tested positive for Covid-19. The hospital has not been named but has stopped admitting patients.

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