Denel is tasked with designing and developing medical ventilator in hands with other state-owned entities, research firms and other medical companies in order to help treat patients who are battling right up against the novel-Coronavirus in South Africa.
As more cases of t he disease keep getting reported on the daily with the number in South Africa reaching 1,585 with only 45 recovery and 9 fatal cases, governments and hospitals have pleaded with manufacturers to further speed up the production of ventilators to further help patients who are unable to breath well.
According to the group CEO of Denel, Danie Du Toit in a statement made it known that engineers from the Denel Dynamics and Denel Aeronautics were working round the clock on the Project Sabela in order to produce ventilators but failed to give a targeted figure.
“We are still in the early stages of the project, but we are optimistic that this local initiative will help to alleviate the dire need for medical ventilators that are required in great numbers at both public and private hospitals,” Du Toit said.
To further enhance the speed up and production of these ventilators, a task force is said to have been set up which consists of experts from Denel, Armscor, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and other entities in order to further investigate designs and produce a prototype of a local medical ventilator.
According to Du Toit, he said he was confident the team setup will make a huge stride in the production of ventilators despite the global shortage of these really important medical equipment.
Denel, a cornerstone of South Africa’s once-mighty defence industry, is also considering other initiatives in which it could repurpose its current operations and technology to assist the national effort to tackle to health crisis.
Part of the effort includes looking at options to produce sanitisers for industrial and medical uses once product certifications issues issues which are said to have been clarified and converting Casspir mine-protected vehicles into ambulances according to the company.
The ministry of health had further reached out to the country’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa to assist the department with reinforcements and mobilizing from other countries like Cuba and China.
Ramaphosa meanwhile announced to have had a conversation with the Russia’s president Vladimir Putin and requested for “technical expertise on infection control, supply of lifesaving equipment for mobile testing and infection control.”
Officials have imposed some of the toughest anti-coronavirus measures on the continent, including a 21-day “stay at home” lockdown that started on March 27 with some speculations that the lock down might be further elongated.