Thousands of ventilators delivered to NHS next week in battle against Coronavirus
31 March 2020, 17:35 | Updated: 31 March 2020, 19:22
The UK government has vowed to distribute thousands of ventilators to the NHS in a bid to save those with COVID-19.
Michael Gove has revealed that thousands of ventilators will be delivered to NHS in a matter of days.
Speaking at the daily press conference in Downing Street, the Cabinet Minister said new ventilators would “roll off the production line” and be distributed to the frontline next week.
He went on to explain just over 8,000 ventilators have already been deployed in NHS hospitals, but added "we need more."
Gove said: "We are buying more from abroad, including from EU nations, and developing new sources of supply at home.
"This weekend the first thousands of new ventilator devices will roll off the production line and be delivered to the NHS next week.
"From there they will be distributed to the front line."
The government is also increasing capacity to provide oxygen to patients at earlier stages of the disease, hoping to prevent deterioration.
So far, 143,186 people in the UK have now been tested for Covid-19 and of those, 25,150 were positive.
Public health chiefs in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland confirmed a further 393 people had died from the disease, bringing the UK death toll to 1,801.
This comes after Foreign Secretary and Secretary of State Dominic Raab vowed to help Brits stranded abroad unable to get home.
Speaking on Monday, he unveiled a £75 million package to bring back those unable to return due to the ongoing travel restrictions.
“I can today announce a new arrangement between the Government and airlines to fly home tens of thousands of stranded British travellers, where commercial flights are no longer possible,” he said.
“Partner airlines include British Airways, Virgin, easyJet, Jet2 and Titan and this list can be expanded.
“Under the arrangements that we are putting in place we will target flights from a range of priority countries, starting this week.”
Mr Raab said priority would be given to the most vulnerable and to countries where there are large numbers of British tourists trying to return to the UK.
He went on to warn travellers to book their tickets home as soon as possible and to not wait.
Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance also added he was optimistic about the UK's infection figures, but added it was "premature" to put a time on how long lockdown will last.