The U.K. government is fielding offers of assistance from vets and veterinary equipment makers as it tries to procure as many ventilators as possible to help with the accelerating coronavirus outbreak
“The Animal Health Trust, along with other veterinary referral centers, is currently in discussion with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine about the possibility of sharing their ventilators to help support the NHS,” the AHT said in a statement. The discussions are still in early stages, they said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is urgently trying to acquire ventilators to limit deaths from the coronavirus, and has asked manufacturers across the country to join the effort. Industry representatives have expressed skepticism about his plan, and warned that there won’t be enough of the devices, which help virus patients breathe.
Keith Simpson, managing director of Vetronic Services Ltd., a manufacturer of veterinary ventilators, said he’d been urged to call the government’s business department to offer his company’s products to the National Health Service.
“I’m here, I’m happy to help, but as yet I’m waiting to hear,” he said by phone.
The Department of Health and Social Care did not immediately respond to a request for comment.