Like in a war: the British government asks car factories to arrange the production of artificial lung ventilation

19 Mar

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic makes many developed countries recall the long-standing experience of the war years and is promptly preparing the industry for the release of life-saving equipment. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to use the auto industry to avoid the crisis in the healthcare system that Italy has faced. 

During the Second World War, car factories produced a huge range of products unusual for themselves, mainly, of course, weapons and special equipment. Today, when the world is faced with a very tenacious and rapidly spreading Chinese coronavirus among people, the main weapon for saving people is high-quality medicine and modern medical equipment. The experience of Italy, which was the first in Europe to take the brunt of a Chinese infection, showed that the modern healthcare system in European countries is not ready to face massive epidemics. Italian doctors are corny lack of artificial lung ventilation, which is why they are forced to make terrible decisions – who should live and who should die. Ventilators are necessary for the treatment of severe cases of pneumonia (pneumonia), namely pneumonia is the main complication of COVID-19. Much higher than in China, mortality from COVID-19 in Italy is a direct result of a lack of medical equipment.

In the UK, the COVID-19 epidemic is just entering the “hot” phase and will peak in about two to three weeks. The government of the Kingdom, led by Boris Johnson, is trying to prepare for the exponential growth of the infected and sick: he sends to quarantine old people, among which the death rate from COVID-19 is the highest, and is stocked up with medical equipment.

As in Italy, in the UK there is not enough ventilation to fight the epidemic. Autocar Magazine reports that the Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) has only five thousand ventilation systems at its disposal, and many of them are already under current needs. China, where the peak of the epidemic has already been passed, is ready to share its free ventilation machines, but is now sending them to the hottest spots, that is, to the same Italy. The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, asked all EU countries also help Italy and provide it with everything necessary, but the UK, we recall, has already left the EU and is unlikely to be able to count on the help of neighbors in difficult times.

In general, the UK government decided to cope with the epidemic on its own: the British subsidiaries of Ford and Honda, Rolls-Royce and JCB (the British manufacturer of agricultural equipment) received a government request regarding the quickest possible setting up of ventilators. The point, of course, is not to remove, for example, from the conveyor belt of Honda Civic and put in place ventilation devices instead of them – for a number of technological reasons, this is simply impossible, but it is quite possible to use part of the existing equipment and available premises. Now the government and companies are consulting about this. The process, of course, involves specialists and representatives of related fields – medicine, electronics, manufacturers of household appliances, suppliers of raw materials.

In France, by the way, at the request of the government, local manufacturers of cosmetics and perfumes quickly re-formed: instead of their usual products, they are now chasing medical masks, gloves and disinfectants in huge quantities. They pass all this to the Ministry of Health for further distribution between hospitals. It is curious that the French government has canceled orders for personal protective equipment and hygiene products from the UK – they say, we ourselves need it. In general, in a pandemic, everyone thinks about himself first.