While the world is facing a chronic shortage of medical equipment to combat coronavirus outbreak, UK government refused British-based manufacturers from producing ventilators just days after the company stood up to the UK government’s call. According to the official release by Gtech, its owner, Nick Grey said that they had presented the government with their ventilators last week but then after five days, the government “selected other partners” and asked them to halt the production.
Despite the fact that Gtech was ready to build reportedly 30,000 ventilators by March 26, and Britain is currently tackling with the surge in demand for medical equipment with increasing coronavirus infections, the refusal of the British government drew questions as well as criticism. According to reports, the ventilators by this British-based company were designed from the parts that can be made from stock materials, which further implies that Gtech ventilators could be made by any engineering and manufacturing company in the world.
“We designed the ventilator entirely from parts that can readily be made from stock materials or bought off-the-shelf. This means that Gtech ventilators can be made by almost any engineering and manufacturing company around the world” said Nick according to official website.
He added, “I was flattered to be asked to help. Our ventilator was simplistic as we were serious about meeting the timescales. We could have mass-produced from 26th March onwards”.
Since the British government’s rejection of Gtech’s mass production drew criticism, the cabinet minister responded to a call by international media and defended the move. The official reportedly said that even though they received an overwhelming response from the businesses across the country, Gtech model “did not pass the government’s stringent safety tests”. The British official also said that they remain “grateful” to the company’s effort but the ventilator project of the UK would not be going forward with them.
Some media reports stated that the UK government has given an order to Dyson to manufacture 10,000 ventilators while other reports suggested that the government is planning to ramp-up the production of existing designs rather than looking for modifications amid the pandemic. However, the news has added criticism to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government who has been accused of putting “Brexit before breathing” by refusing to sign up for the European Union’s ventilator scheme. The UK government later clarified that it had missed the deadline.