Joining the battle to combat the novel coronavirus, car firms across the world have now started making more ventilators and face masks. According to reports, on March 23 Fiat began converting one of its car plants in China to start making about one million masks a month. Meanwhile, other major car firms are looking at ways they can shift manufacturing towards ventilators.
General Motors, Ford and Tesla in the US have all pledged their support to offer resources to make more ventilators, along with Japanese carmaker Nissan and Formula 1 teams in the UK, international media reported. Major car plants in the US, Europe and Asia have halted production to try to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. However, they were still pledging to help make ventilators and other vital medical equipment.
Ford on March 24 said it was working with GE Healthcare and 3M, another health industry manufacturer, to design modified respirators and ventilators, which could be produced using fans, batteries and other parts that Ford typically uses for its cars. However, Ford has already started making transparent face shields, to complement existing protective gear for hospital staff, with the first 1,000 set for delivery at three Detroit-area hospitals this week. It reportedly expects to produce about 75,000 of such shields this week.
Meanwhile, as China is recovering from its loses, it is now helping other nations which are close to becoming pandemic epicentre. China has reportedly dispatched an aircraft carrying over 500,000 masks to Greece to help the country combat the deadly coronavirus pandemic. The aircraft landed at Athens International Airport on March 21 with the supplies and the Health Minister of Greece, Vassilis Kikilias, was among those at the airport to receive it.
According to the reports, China has lately been involved in the PR offensive to counter the criticism by sending medics and supplies to countries across the globe. The masks are the donations by the Chinese public electricity company State Grid and Greek electricity supplier Admie, in which the Chinese firm held a 25 per cent stake.