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2 April, 2020 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 1 April, 2020 11:46:19 PM
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Local ventilators bring hope

STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka
Local ventilators bring hope
NOBLE GESTURE FOR NOBLE PROFESSIONALS: Some vehicles wait in the capital yesterday as they are earmarked for helping doctors and nurses engaged in caregiving in hospitals in a fast and convenient way in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. The service dubbed ‘Crack Platoon Transport Service’ has been initiated to give the service to the health professionals, most of whom use public transport to reach their workplaces. BSS Photo

One of the most worrying symptoms of COVID-19 is the way the coronavirus attacks the lungs of the infected person. This means some patients need a ventilator to help them breathe until their lungs recover. But there is a dire shortage of these devices in hospitals around the world. Urged on by worried governments, ventilator manufacturers are working intensively and forming partnerships with carmakers, aerospace firms, and others to boost output as fast as possible in different countries.

At present, there is one ventilator per 3.4 lakh people in the country. The coronavirus control room at the health directorate shows there are merely 45 ventilators for COVID-19 patients.

Health minister Zahid Maleque, however, gave a different and rather vague figure. He said there are 500 ventilators in government hospitals and 700 in private hospitals, while 300 more are in the “pipeline”.

Considering the grim scenario, the country has declared that it will manufacture ventilators designed by Medtronic, an Ireland-based medical device firm that has a Bangladeshi at

 

its helm. “Our PB 560 ventilators are being open-sourced. The Medtronic design and specs will be available to be manufactured by anyone. An unprecedented human challenge requires an unprecedented response. #COVID19,” Omar Ishrak, Medtronic’s chairman and chief executive officer, tweeted last Monday.

 Ishrak, a Bangladesh-born American, also uploaded a press release in his tweet, saying this decision was consistent with the recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Guidance and in accordance with the public health and medical response of governmental agencies globally.

 Last Tuesday, state minister for information and communications technology (ICT) Zunaid Ahmed Palak said that Bangladesh would produce ventilators with technical support from Medtronic.

 “Medtronic will provide technical support to local companies like Walton, by providing the patent, source code, design, hardware, and software of their PB560 ventilators. We have already held primary discussions with the company about the kind of technical support Bangladesh would require to produce such ventilators,” Palak said.

 Walton Hi-Tech Industries Limited’s executive director Golam Murshed told The Independent that the company was working on producing life-saving medical equipment, including ventilators, powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs), oxygen concentrators, respiratory masks, UV disinfectants, safety goggles, and protective shields.

 The research and development team of the company is working on the products, Morshed said, without specifying the number of ventilators that it will produce.

 Although almost all the factories and offices of Walton are closed now, more than 50 engineers are working at its headquarters to produce life-saving medical instruments that will provide quick treatment to coronavirus-affected people, said Morshed.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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