China is racing to produce several thousands of multifunction ventilators, as demand for the lifesaving machines skyrockets across the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the country's top industry regulator said on Monday.
The move is also part of China's broader efforts to encourage work resumption and stabilize economic activity, as the global spread of the epidemic is likely to worsen international trade prospects.
Xu Kemin, an official with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said overseas demand for multifunction ventilators is surging, and manufacturers in China are toiling day and night to meet the growing demand for their products.
"China has 21 multifunction ventilator makers and eight of them have obtained the European Union's compulsory CE marking," Xu said. The companies have already signed contracts for 20,000 multifunction ventilators, and many more are pouring in every day.
"Since March 19, these companies have provided more than 1,700 multifunction ventilators to overseas hospitals. That equals half of this year's supplies to domestic hospitals," Xu said.
The official said that it was difficult to scale up production amid the contagion, as each ventilator has more than 1,000 components, and some major suppliers of these parts are located in Europe. "It is also unrealistic to expect that China, which accounts for one-fifth of the global production, can meet the entire demand," Xu said.
Xin Guobin, vice-minister of industry and information technology, said the trade situation is likely to deteriorate as the epidemic spreads.
"China will help stabilize global supply chains by boosting support to automobile and electronics sectors and will also ramp up resources to provide foreign countries with more active pharmaceutical ingredients," Xin said.
According to him, relevant ministries are drafting policies, including capital and financial support, to help export-oriented companies survive the current difficulty.
This article is from CHINADAILY.
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