The NHS is being sent 30 new ventilators in a drive to help the healthcare service fight the virus.

However it’s thought that the country will need 30,000 to get through the peak of this deadly outbreak, and as of Wednesday, 8,000 were being used.

With the coronavirus pandemic having led to 2,921 deaths in the UK so far, what exactly can ventilators do to help the fight against Covid-19?

Why are ventilators so important for fighting coronavirus?

Ventilators are medical machines which help patients breathe by moving air in and out of their lungs for them.

Since coronavirus can cause people to develop fluid in their lungs consistent with symptoms of viral pneumonia, people who experience more severe symptoms of the virus and need hospital care often need to be put on a ventilator.

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Speaking at the daily Downing Street press conference, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove promised that thousands more ventilators were on the way and due next week.

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He said: ‘I can announce that this weekend the first of thousands of new ventilator devices will roll off the production line and be delivered to the NHS next week. From there, they will be rapidly distributed to the frontline.’

However there have been stark words from New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has said: ‘If you go on a ventilator there is only a 20% chance you will come off it.’

Meanwhile a London NHS trust is saving ventilators for Covid-19 patients who are ‘reasonably certain’ to survive, and volunteers at the new NHS Nightingale Hospital have reportedly been told to expect up to 80% of people on ventilators to die.

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