JCB may make ventilators to combat coronavirus

16 March 2020 | By Neil Gerrard

Image: Dreamstime/Sean Atalioti

Construction equipment manufacturer JCB has confirmed that it has been approached by the government to switch some of its production capacity to making ventilators for coronavirus patients.

The news came after health secretary Matt Hancock made a call at the weekend for manufacturers to consider helping to make the medical equipment as the number of patients suffering from Covid-19 rises.

The UK currently has around 5,000 ventilators but needs several times that number. Hancock urged “anyone who can” to “turn their engineering minds and production lines to making them”.

Hancock said on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday that JCB was among the companies the government was speaking to, along with Unipart and Rolls-Royce.

A spokesperson for JCB confirmed: “We have been approached by the Prime Minister to see if we can help with the production of ventilators. We have research and engineering teams actively looking at the request at the moment.”

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