Germany to donate 60 ventilators to the NHS as scramble for Covid-19 equipment continues

David Child
Matt Writtle

Germany has said it will donate 60 ventilators to the NHS as officials scramble to get enough life-saving equipment to meet the expected forthcoming peak of the coronavirus outbreak.

The German embassy confirmed a report in newspaper Der Spiegel that the country's armed forces would be sending the kit to the UK as soon as possible.

A statement on the embassy’s Twitter feed said: "Support for our friends in the UK – the Bundeswehr is donating 60 mobile ventilators to the UK."

The NHS is currently reported to have around 10,000 ventilators - a critical piece of equipment in the fight to prevent Covid-19 deaths.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said about 18,000 of the machines will be required to ensure there will be ample capacity in the next week or so - when it is believed coronavirus case numbers will peak.

The Government has meanwhile appealed to British manufacturers to help fill the gap.

But, while a number of firms have come forward, including defence firm Babcock and engineering company Dyson, it is taking time to gear up production and ensure essential regulatory approvals are in place.

In the meantime, the NHS has been scrambling to source supplies from overseas.

On Wednesday, Downing Street confirmed that the UK had asked the US to deliver 200 ventilators already ordered from US companies.

The developments meanwhile came after medics were warned last week they may need to make "grave decisions" about which patients are given use of vital healthcare equipment as the coronavirus pandemic intensifies.

Ethics advice published by the British Medical Association's said health professionals may need to make decisions around rationing scarce resources, such as ventilators, which could determine whether large numbers of patients will receive life-saving treatment or not.

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