Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia on verge of locally producing 1,000 ventilators per week

A mechanical ventilator developed in the University of Costa Rica (UCR) to be used for patients infected with CIVID-19. (AFP)

Saudi Arabia is on the verge of locally producing 1,000 ventilators per week with the help of its business community as part of efforts to support the Kingdom’s efforts against the coronavirus pandemic, several local media outlets reported citing members of the Council of Saudi Chambers.

Abdulrahman al-Ubaid, the head of the National Industrial Committee within the Council of Saudi Chambers, told al-Riyadh newspapers that they have already begun work to locally produce ventilators in order to support the Kingdom’s containment efforts of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

“The government of Saudi Arabia has done a lot and has given priority to citizens and their safety and it is the duty of the private sector to contribute and provide its capabilities to support the state and protect citizens and the country,” al-Ubaid told al-Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources and the Local Content and Government Procurement Authority had invited local manufacturers in the Kingdom to contribute with the state in producing and manufacturing local respirators to support the government’s efforts in containing the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to Al Arabiya, Chairman of the Saudi Council of Engineers Eng. Bader al-Shahrani said his group have started their own initiative alongside 50 factories to locally manufacture ventilators.

“This initiative aims to contribute to providing the necessary needs for coronavirus patients and overcoming a shortage of supplies due to the global crisis. We’re encouraging the localization of the medical industries, technology transfer and building the supply chains needed for the components that make up respirators in line with the goals of the Saudi Vision 2030,” al-Shahrani told Al Arabiya.

Ventilators, life-saving pieces of medical equipment that help coronavirus patients to breathe, have become a political commodity as governments and individuals scramble to obtain them amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Ventilators are crucial for providing care to people critically ill with coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, who often struggle to breathe naturally, explained Dr. Fadi Hamed, Pulmonologist & Critical Care Physician, Critical Care Institute, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

“Ventilators do not cure COVID-19, however, they are able to keep a severely ill patient alive until they recover enough lung function to breathe on their own again,” he added.

Al Arabiya English’s Matthew Amlôt contributed to this report.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:57 - GMT 06:57
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