(Reuters) – Ford Motor Co said on Tuesday it was working with General Electric’s healthcare unit and 3M Co to speed up production of ventilators for patients and respirators for healthcare workers as the coronavirus pandemic escalates.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that U.S. automakers General Motors Co, Ford, and Tesla Inc had been given the green light to produce ventilators and other items needed during the coronavirus outbreak.
The rapid spread of the illness, which has killed more than 16,500 people globally, has strained healthcare systems around the world and led to a shortage of ventilators needed to treat critically ill patients suffering from the flu-like virus, which can lead to breathing difficulties and pneumonia in severe cases.
Ford and GE Healthcare will expand the production of GE’s ventilator design to support patients with respiratory failure or difficulty breathing caused by the pathogen, Ford said.
Separately, Ford would work with 3M to increase manufacturing capacity of its air-purifying respirator designs to meet a surge in demand for first responders and healthcare workers.
Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli.