General Motors is collaborating with Ventec Life Systems to make ventilators to meet the shortage that the United States is facing amid the coronavirus spread.
StopTheSpread, the private sector effort to prevent the further spread of the virus, is also involved in the venture.
“With GM’s help, Ventec will increase ventilator production,” said Chris Kiple, Ventec Life Systems CEO. “By tapping their expertise, GM is enabling us to get more ventilators to more hospitals much faster. This partnership will help save lives.”
GM will provide help in logistics, purchasing, and manufacturing capacities to ramp up their production effort to build and supply more ventilators.
“We are working closely with Ventec to rapidly scale up production of their critically important respiratory products to support our country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mary Barra, GM chairman and CEO in a statement posted on the company’s website. “We will continue to explore ways to help in this time of crisis.”
Coronavirus Covid-19 is a respiratory disease and affects the lungs. It causes pneumonia and acute respiratory distress, which in its severest form, needs ventilators to help breathe for patients. Companies manufacturing the devices cannot keep up with the demand. Europe has gone into wartime like mobilization of factories to produce the ventilators, but the US has been a little sluggish in preparing itself to meet the crisis, despite a fair warning of the pandemic and the hospital equipment crisis that it has created in other countries. A New York Post report says there are roughly 160,000 ventilators with an additional 12,700 in reserve. The American Hospital Association estimates 960,000 people will need them over the course of the pandemic.
Volkswagen and Ford have also committed to look into the matter and help in the production of ventilators. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX recently tweeted that Tesla's Fremont factory could be put to use for making ventilators.
He was quick to add that it cannot be done immediately and will take some time. Volkswagen revealed that it has set up a task force to look into making 3D printed ventilators.
StopTheSpread is working to get the private sector together to fight the crisis and come up with solutions. "We are grateful for the partnership between GM and Ventec Life Systems, which will enable Ventec to drastically scale production of critically needed respiratory care products. This is a vital step in delivering relief to our healthcare system, which is threatened by the spread of COVID-19. As this virus continues to endanger the lives of countless Americans, StopTheSpread.org is working to unite the business community around a common threat to our economy and our way of life. We know the strength of this effort relies on urgent coordination between the public and private sectors in order to get through this crisis,” it said.
It is not clear yet how GM is going to help Ventec and when the production will start, at what strength and what all actual help will be provided.