Coronavirus: Questions raised over UK medical supplies – BBC Newsnight

Can the UK produce sufficient ventilators in time?

In the UK, BBC Newsnight asked if Britain’s medical supplies were up to the stern test the novel coronavirus was about to place the National Health Service (NHS) under.

The government has ordered 10,000 ventilators from Dyson to help deal with the coronavirus crisis. But how will NHS critical care units really be able to cope with increasing pressure from Covid19?

What is a ventilator?
* A ventilator is a machine that helps a person breathe by getting oxygen into the lungs and removing carbon dioxide
* Ventilators can be used to help a person breathe if they have lung disease or another condition that makes breathing difficult. They can also be used during and post-surgery
* A tube, connected to a ventilator machine, is placed in a person’s mouth, nose or through a small cut in the throat (called a tracheostomy)

Emily Maitlis is joined by business minister Nadhim Zahawi, consultant anaesthetist Dr Claudia Paoloni and Andrew Raynor of MEC Medical, a medical parts manufacturer.

BBC Newsnight YouTube Channel

This 22 minute feature describes how the UK must learn the lessons of Wuhan and Italy, in order to prepare for the spike in patients requiring ventilators.

It focuses on Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, and shows how some of the numbers and statements he has made have been proved to be false in this report.

Also see:

It remains to be seen if the UK can increase ventilator capacity quickly enough to cope with the huge spike in urgent patients – a spike which was certainly exacerbated by the UK Government’s initial ambivalence to the threat posed by Covid-19.

Less than a month ago, British politicians were proudly declaring “business as usual” – a three week period which allowed the novel coronavirus to spread rapidly, particularly in London, where they are now building a 4,000 person hospital in the ExCeL exhibition centre.

The question also being asked is: did Britain lockdown too late?

You watched the report – what do you think? Leave a comment, below.

In This Story: Covid-19

Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.

Symptoms of coronavirus

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a persistent new cough (non productive, dry)
  • a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
  • shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)

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