Billionaire inventor James Dyson has said his electronics business is "working solidly" on creating ventilators for the NHS in the coronavirus pandemic.
Amid fears the health service does not have enough to handle the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak, the entrepreneur's company, Dyson, has designed a new ventilator.
And the firm is reportedly ready to ship thousands.
According to Sir James, his team has designed the CoVent in partnership with Cambridge-based science engineering firm TTP.
And they are now awaiting the go-ahead from regulators to begin manufacturing them from Dyson's base in Wiltshire.
Ventilators to be used in different settings
Sir James said in an email to staff, as reported by Metro, that the CoVent drew on tech found in the firm's range of air purifiers.
It is battery powered and designed for use in a variety of settings, including in field hospitals and when patients are being moved from one hospital to another.
He explained: "The core challenge was how to design and deliver a new, sophisticated medical product in volume and in an extremely short space of time. The race is now on to get it into production.
"Ventilators are a regulated product so Dyson and TTP will be working with the Medicine and Healthcare Regulatory products Agency and the Government to ensure that the product and the manufacturing process is approved.
London hospitals face a 'tsunami' of coronavirus cases
"We have received an initial order of 10,000 units from the UK government which we will supply on an open-book basis. We are also looking at ways of making it available internationally."
Half of the 10,000 strong order, Sir James said, would be donated to the national effort to beat the coronavirus outbreak.
We have received an initial order of 10,000 units from the UK government.
It comes amid reports that hospitals in London are already struggling to cope with a "tsunami" of coronavirus cases.
According to one NHS boss, at some hospitals as many as half of staff are off work due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Chris Hopson, chief exec of NHS Providers, said some sites are experiencing an "explosion" in demand for critical care.
He said: "They are struggling with two things. The first is the explosion of demand they are seeing in seriously ill patients.
"They talk about wave after wave after wave - the word that's often used to me is a continuous tsunami.
"We are now seeing 30 per cent, 40 per cent and indeed in some places 50 per cent sickness rates as staff catch the virus or are in vulnerable groups or have to self-isolate. That's unprecedented."
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