UK orders 10,000 ventilators from group of firms

Production is to begin on a British order for more than 10,000 ventilators.

They're being made by a consortium of aerospace, engineering and Formula One racing companies.

The group, including Airbus, BAE Systems, Ford and seven Formula One teams, is expected to get the green light on the design imminently.

The UK, which initially only had 5,000 ventilators available to its National Health Service, has been scrambling to secure supplies, which can save the lives of those with complications from the virus.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is now in isolation after testing positive for the illness, made an emergency appeal earlier this month.

He asked manufacturers to start making specialist health equipment including ventilators.

It's estimated the country will need around 30,000, though it's not clear when the new models will be ready for use.

Also on Monday (March 30) a separate group including Mercedes Formula One said it had developed a new version of a breathing aid that can help patients.

It is now being trialled in hospitals.

And vacuum cleaner company Dyson said last week it had received an order for a new design of ventilator which will need to be approved by the health regulator.