With Israel, like the rest of the world, facing a shortage of ventilators as the number of seriously ill coronavirus patients continues to rise, the nation’s defense establishment has stepped in and on Tuesday started manufacturing the machines that will keep the population breathing.
Thirty of the Israeli-made ventilators have already been completed and handed over to the Health Ministry, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett announced Tuesday evening.
Bennett spearheaded the ventilator project, and it is being carried out by a special assembly line set up by the Israel Aerospace Industries at one of the country’s missile factories.
Israel’s Inviatech PCB Engineering, the ministry’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development, and the Defense Ministry’s Purchasing and Procurement Department are also involved in the special initiative, which seeks to make Israel independent of international suppliers of the precious equipment.
“Israel must develop the capability to handle every aspect of the coronavirus epidemic independently,” Bennett said, adding that the country “must not remain dependent on acquisitions from other countries. We need to develop independent power.”
According to Health Ministry assessments, Israel could soon face a need for thousands of ventilators. The defense establishment hopes to ensure that any patient requiring the treatment receives it, avoiding a situation in which doctors must decide which patients are treated and which are left to struggle and die, as happened in Italy and Spain.
The model in production is called Ventway Sparrow and is considered an advanced design. It is lightweight, easy to use, and can serve both adults and children. It is already in use in hospitals and emergency centers in Israel and abroad.
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