Health secretary Matt Hancock has reduced the government target for the number of ventilators the NHS needs to tackle Covid-19.

Health officials had originally set a target of 30,000 ventilators, but Hancock has said that due to a lower case load prediction that target is now just 18,000.

The government has come under some criticism for deciding not to join the EU in a scheme to create an accelerated procurement process to help member states secure ventilators and testing kits. The government initially said it did not join this effort because the UK was no longer an EU member state and is working with its own manufacturers from the private sector and international market to build ventilators.

The government has already ordered 10,000 ventilators from UK technology company Dyson in response to the coronavirus crisis.

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show yesterday, Hancock said: “We need to make sure we have more ventilators than there are people who need ventilation. At the moment we have between 9,000 and 10,000 ventilators within the NHS, and we have the 2,000 spare that are critical care beds with ventilator capacity should people need them and we’re ramping that up.”

Date published: April 6, 2020

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