March 25, 2020 / 1:40 PM / in 14 days

EXCLUSIVE-UK industry expects ventilator production go-ahead on Wednesday- sources

LONDON, March 25 (Reuters) - British industry expects the government to give the go-ahead to an emergency ventilator production plan on Wednesday that will see a number of firms join forces to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, three sources told Reuters.

Airbus, Smiths, Ford and Mclaren are among a number of different firms which will be involved in the process, with the idea that some degree of output, whether that is making components or full ventilators, should ideally begin next week, said a source close to the process.

“It will be upscaling, on more of an industrial scale, existing ventilator designs,” one of the sources said.

Companies will provide a range of expertise including 3D printing, manufacturing specific parts, assembly and business planning. The government will make an announcement on Wednesday, the sources said.

Britain has said it is trying to boost the number of ventilators available to its publicly funded health service by using some from private hospitals and building more domestically if possible.

The British government declined to comment on the exact timing or details of the ventilator production plan. (Reporting by Costas Pitas, Kate Holton and Alan Baldwin; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

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