Prototype of first locally made ventilator ready

Prototype of first locally made ventilator ready

ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
Prototype of first locally made ventilator ready

A demo prototype of Turkey's first locally manufactured ventilator is ready, an official of the country's leading drone manufacturer Baykar announced late on March 30.

The ventilator – designed by Turkish technology firm BIOSYS – was produced with the backing of Baykar, major appliances firm Arçelik, and defense giant Aselsan, said Selcuk Bayraktar, the chief technology officer of Baykar, in a tweet.

Baykar ordered 250 ventilators from BIOSYS to support the company's mass production drive and Turkey's public health care system.

Some defense and aviation firms, such as Aselsan, Havelsan, and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), have also joined the campaign.

The ventilators will be donated to the Turkish Health Ministry for use at hospitals catering to COVID-19 patients across the country.

The locally-made breathing assistance machines could prove vital in the battle to save lives in Turkey, where the COVID-19 death toll reached 168 and cases surged to 10,827 on March 30.

The ventilators, if proven reliable and effective, could also be a ray of hope for several countries that are facing an acute shortage in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.

New hospital opens doors for COVID-19 patients

Meanwhile, a brand new environment-friendly hospital in Istanbul, Turkey opened its doors earlier than expected on Monday amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group provided €158.9 million ($175.4 million) for the Okmeydani Hospital project which was expected to be completed and officially opened in May.

More than 600 hospital beds equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including 99 high-tech intensive care units (ICUs), started serving patients suffering from the pandemic, according to a statement from the IsDB Group.

The old Okmeydanı Training and Research Hospital was demolished under the Istanbul Seismic Risk Reduction and Emergency Case Preparation Project (ISMEP), with the new building constructed in its place.

Salah Jelassi, the IDB Group's regional director in Turkey, underlined that the hospital was launched when it was most required.

"Reconstructing and thereby transforming the old hospital to a state-of-the-art seismic-resistant healthcare facility which will also play the role of a major center of excellence in cardiology and organ-transplant," Jelassi said.

Apart from its highly seismic-resistant structure, the new hospital building includes several large courtyards that can be used as shelters in the wake of possible earthquakes, the statement added.

Istanbul is in a highly seismic region and Turkey suffered over a hundred major earthquakes of magnitudes of 6 or more on the Richter Scale over the last century.

Thus, the government has taken major steps in adopting a strategy for the seismic-proofing of buildings in a bid to mitigate risks related to major earthquakes, especially public structures including hospitals and other emergency service centers.

Nearly 30,000 illegally produced masks seized

Meanwhile, Turkish security forces on March 31 seized 29,400medical masks illegally produced in textile mills in  Istanbul, sources said.

Acting on a tip-off, police carried out raids in two workplaces in Küçükçekmece and Bahçelievler districts, an official told Anadolu Agency on the condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The production facilities were hence sealed, the official added.

Demand in face masks has risen globally amid the coronavirus pandemic. Masks protect people from viral pathogens and prevent sick people from spreading the disease to others.