Bangladesh to make ventilators for COVID-19 patients as Medtronic shares design

  • Staff Correspondent,
    Published: 2020-04-01 02:41:00 BdST

FILE PHOTO: Ventilators of Hamilton Medical AG are seen at a plant in Domat/Ems, Switzerland March 18, 2020. Reuters

Bangladesh will manufacture ventilators designed by Medtronic, an Ireland-based medical device firm with a Bangladeshi at the helm, as new coronavirus cases continue to emerge with the people almost under a lockdown.

The government on Tuesday extended the shutdown of all workplaces to Apr 9 and was planning to extend it further as fears of a surge in cases in the country after the general holidays have grown.

With no letting-up in deaths and new infections, developed nations like the US and the UK have moved for large-scale production of ventilators to give the COVID-19 patients respiratory support.

Even carmakers in these countries are stepping forward to manufacture ventilators as the global total of coronavirus infections crossed 800,000 on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak said in a Facebook post that Medtronic has given the source codes of software and hardware design of its ventilator to the ICT Division’s research and development unit.

Medtronic has also extended cooperation to Bangladesh with its researchers and technology experts.

Its Chairman and CEO Omar Ishrak is a Bangladeshi-American business executive, who also chairs the board of directors of Intel.

“An unprecedented human challenge requires an unprecedented response,” he tweeted on Monday.

Palak said Walton, MyOne, Celltron, a2i Innovation Lab, MIST, Minister Electronics, Startup Bangladesh and iDEA have also been included in the efforts to produce the ventilators.

Medtronic, which supplies mainly to the US, announced on Monday that it has shared its ventilation design specifications to “accelerate efforts to increase global ventilator production”.