The first batch of British-made ventilators to treat coronavirus patients will be rolled out to the NHS next week, Michael Gove has said.
Thousands of them are going into production to bolster the 8,000 already deployed in hospitals, he announced.
Lots of countries are trying to source the essential machines, which provide oxygen for people suffering lung failure in severe COVID-19 cases.
Mr Gove reassured the public that ventilators have been bought in from abroad to tackle the pandemic and that the first wave produced in the UK will roll off the production line by the end of this weekend.
He tried to keep pressure up on people to stay at home to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus, calling the latest daily deaths rise of 393 “deeply shocking”.
But NHS England’s medical director Professor Stephen Powis said a “bit of a plateau” in coronavirus infections could be “green shoots”.
“It is really important not to read too much because it is really early days,” he cautioned at the daily Downing Street briefing.
“We are not out of the woods, we are very much in the woods.
“So green shoots but only green shoots and we must not be complacent and we must not take our foot off the pedal.”
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