Monday 16 March 2020 10:01 pm

Boris Johnson calls on UK businesses to make ventilators amid Covid-19 crisis

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called on the UK’s biggest manufacturers to help produce vital medical equipment like ventilators as the coronavirus crisis worsens.

This evening Johnson, along with Michael Gove, spoke to more than 60 UK businesses, asking them both to share their expertise and make the components themselves.

According to a Downing Street spokesperson, Johnson told the companies, which included industrial titans such as Ford, Honda, and Rolls Royce, that “responding to coronavirus and reducing the spread of the peak requires a national effort”.

He added that the ambition for industry should be “to manufacture as many new ventilators as possible, so we can all help the most vulnerable and our NHS, whose staff have been working round the clock”.

Johnson added that “the government will do everything [it] can to support businesses during this difficult time.”

Design specifications for the ventilators were set out by the government’s chief commercial officer and the commercial director for the NHS.

The statement added that the UK’s business support helpline had already received 400 calls from companies looking for information on how they could assist in ventilator production.

Rolls Royce said that it was ready to help the government in any way it could.