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Dyson races to develop a ventilator in coronavirus fight

Dyson is racing to develop a ventilator to help critical patients with the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19.

It is the latest company to step up to the plate in the fight against the virus, which to date has seen 465,000 confirmed cases globally, and more than 21,000 recorded deaths.

The nature of its business means Dyson, like other tech firms, are well placed to help out during a global crisis in which medical equipment is needed in huge quantities and at short notice to save lives.

The U.K.-based producer of vacuum cleaners and other home appliances said on Wednesday that it’s already received an order from the British government for 10,000 of the ventilators, according to a BBC report. Dyson said it has designed the ventilator from scratch and has hundreds of engineers working on the project. It’ll manufacture the machine in the U.K.

A ventilator gets oxygen into the lungs while removing carbon dioxide, making it a vitally important piece of equipment as the virus can compromise some patients’ ability to breathe normally. But a global surge in severe COVID-19 cases has put huge pressure on the supply of ventilators, prompting a growing number of companies to offer help.

With the U.K. expecting a surge in coronavirus cases anytime now, Dyson is aiming to have thousands of ventilators rolling off the production line within a couple of weeks.

In a statement, the company said it has been working with The Technology Partnership — a U.K.-based medical company — to develop a “meaningful and timely response” to the pandemic, describing the endeavor as a “highly complex project being undertaken in an extremely challenging timeframe.”

In similar efforts Stateside, telecommunications giant SoftBank on Wednesday donated 1.4 million protective face masks for critical services in New York State, which is currently the hardest-hit location in the U.S. with more than 25,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 200 deaths. Governor Andrew Cuomo, who earlier this week pleaded for 30,000 additional ventilators for the state, thanked SoftBank for its contribution.

Ford, Fiat Chrysler, Tesla, Apple, and Facebook, among other tech-related firms, are also keen to get involved in the battle against the virus. There’s clearly some considerable way to go with COVID-19, so expect more firms in the industry to offer help in the days and weeks ahead.

Digital Trends has more coverage on the way the COVID-19 outbreak is changing the way we live.

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