3 Apr 2020

Covid-19: Orders for more ventilators finalised by Ministry of Health

2:37 pm on 3 April 2020

The Ministry of Health has finalised orders to bring in more ventilators from overseas, but has not said how many machines it has bought.

Hutt Hospital Covid-19 ICU ventilator

Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

Minister of Health David Clark on Wednesday told RNZ that more than 100 had been ordered, plus "100-odd in mobile capacity".

The minister and the ministry did not provide more details when RNZ asked.

Global demand for ventilators has soared to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield told the afternoon briefing today that hospitals were not having to re-purpose old ventilators at this stage.

"We've got orders finalised - we're just finalising the dates for arrival of additional new ventilators from overseas," he said, promising more details once an arrival date was confirmed.

They were also finalising access to private hospital ventilators if need be.

Clark had said he expected the new ventilators to be on stream within the next month.

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