General Motors stated Tuesday it had begun making ventilators in the volume needed to treat severely unwell coronavirus patients and would deliver the first batch of the medical tools to the U.S. government this month.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded nine contracts totaling almost $2.6 billion to manufacture 137,000 ventilators by the end of this year for the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile, together with a contract to GM price $489.4 million for 30,000 ventilators by the end of August after President Donald Trump invoked the Defense Production Act.
Other contracts introduced by HHS in recent days embody a $646.7 million contract to Dutch health technology firm Philips and others to General Electric, Hill-Rom Holdings, Medtronic, ResMed, Vyaire Medical, Hamilton Medical, and Zoll Medical.
Hamilton is getting a $552 million contract for 14,115 ventilators, while Vyaire is receiving a $407.9 million contract for 22,000 ventilators built by June 29, and Zoll is receiving a $350.1 million contract for 18,900 ventilators, HHS stated Monday.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar stated the deals “will imply we have extra capacity to respond to the pandemic as it evolves.”
GM, which is working with ventilator agency Ventec Life Systems to supply the medical equipment, said it might ship over 600 ventilators this month.