訂購 Herman Yeung 數學天書詳情

2020年4月4日 星期六

Newspaper Cutting 006 - China’s factories work 24/7 to build medical ventilators for Milan, New York amid spreading global Covid-19 pandemic

Vocabulary :
(1) medical ventilator = 醫學呼吸機
(2) Milan = 米蘭
(3) pandemic = 大流行
(4) desperately = 絕望地
(5) determine = 決定
(6) flat out = 全速地
(7) life-saving ventilator = 拯救生命的呼吸機
(8) three shifts = 三更
(9) research and development = 研究及開發
(10) literally = 從字面上看
(11) death toll = 死亡人數
(12) seek = 尋找
(13) severe = 嚴重
(14) critical = 危急
(15) fatalities = 死亡人數
(16) triage = 分流
(17) mad scramble = 瘋狂爭奪
(18) claw back = 奪回
(19) cover-ups = 掩蓋
(20) savior = 救世主
(21) pathogen = 病原
(22) hotspot = 熱點
(23) roar = 怒吼
(24) military aircraft = 軍用飛機
(25) racing against the clock to = 爭分奪秒
(26) inflicted = 造成
(27) precipitously = 險峻地
(28) hypoxaemia = 低氧血症
(29) organ damage = 器官損傷
(30) life threatening = 生命
(31) reconfigure = 重新配置
(32) ramp up = 逐步加大
(33) resources-intensive = 資源密集
(34) personnel training = 人員培訓
(35) cumbersome = 麻煩的
(36) stark contrast to = 與之形成鮮明對比
(37) ordinarily = 通常地
(38) critical case = 危急情況
(39) intensive care units = ICU 加護病房
(40) non-invasive = 非入侵性
(41) collective value = 集體價值

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China’s factories work 24/7 to build medical ventilators for Milan, New York amid spreading global Covid-19 pandemic - 24 Mar, 2020


As the global death toll from the coronavirus crosses 15,000, doctors from Milan to New York are desperately seeking ventilators 

In severe cases, the availability of a ventilator can determine if a Covid-19 patient lives or dies 

About a 40-minute drive to the east of China’s capital, Beijing Aeonmed has been working around the clock since January 20. 

After meeting the country’s needs two weeks ago, its factory lines have been working flat out on orders from overseas for its life-saving ventilators. With three shifts and even research and development staff working the production line, the company’s machines have been going non-stop. 

“There’s literally no country in the world that doesn’t want to buy a ventilator from China right now.” said Li Kai, director of Beijing Aeonmed, “We have tens of thousands of orders waiting. The issue is how fast we can make them.” 

As the global death toll from the coronavirus crosses 15,000, doctors from Milan to New York are desperately seeking ventilators. In severe cases, the availability of a ventilator that can help a Covid-19 patient breathe can determine if he or she lives or dies. Late last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state, which has about 5,000 to 6,000 ventilators, might need 30,000 of them. 

“It’s ventilators, ventilators, ventilators,” Cuomo told reporters. “That is the greatest need.” The state “has people in China shopping for ventilators,” he said. 

Overall in the US, the Society of Critical Care Medicine estimates that 960,000 patients would need ventilator support due to Covid-19, but the nation only has about 200,000 such machines. In Italy, the country with the most number of fatalities from the pandemic, a severe ventilator shortage has forced doctors to triage patients. 

The mad scramble for scarce medical supplies comes as China and the US try to deflect blame for their handling of the disease. China has been seeking to claw back an international leadership role after early cover-ups helped the virus spread well beyond its borders. The country has sought to brand itself as Europe’s saviour in the fight against the pathogen, providing masks and other supplies to the region’s virus hotspots. 

For companies like Beijing Aeonmed, though, it’s roaring business as orders pour in from dozens of countries, many of which are chartering planes or using military aircraft to pick up the machines. Aeonmed isn’t the only Chinese company racing against the clock to build ventilators. 

“All the ventilator factories in China have reached their maximum capacity, occupied fully by foreign demand,” said Wu Chuanpu, director of supply chain at Vedeng.com, one of the main platforms in China connecting medical equipment suppliers and buyers. 

The factories have orders to keep them at full capacity until May, according to Wu. Vedeng is still getting more than 60 to 70 new orders every day, each asking for hundreds or thousands of such machines, he said. Many are from governments. 

Ventilators pump oxygen into the lungs and remove carbon dioxide from the body. Many patients inflicted by the coronavirus need the machine because their blood oxygen level drops precipitously – a condition called hypoxaemia – which can cause organ damage and be potentially life threatening. 

The ventilator demand is so great that US President Donald Trump has given carmakers the green light to reconfigure their plants to make the machines. 

Ford Motor, General Motors and Tesla have been given the “go ahead” to make ventilators, Trump said in a tweet Sunday. 

However, unlike face masks or thermometers, where companies can quickly ramp up production, ventilators have a higher barrier to entry, making a rapid expansion of production more difficult, Wu said. 

“The expansion of the production line is very time-consuming and resources-intensive,” he said. “It also involves personnel training. It is too cumbersome.” 

The dramatic increase in demand for the machines is in stark contrast to their need in normal times. Ordinarily, hospitals have a few dozen machines that are required for only critical cases. Now, they may need them for every bed in their intensive care units. 

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said earlier this month that as of March 3, the country’s main manufacturers delivered about 14,000 non-invasive ventilators and 2,900 invasive ones to Hubei, the region where the coronavirus outbreak originated. That compares with the nationwide demand for ventilators in 2018 of 14,700, according to Huajing Research.

China is able to supply at least 14,000 non-invasive ventilators in April, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Nikkie Lu, based on what factories supplied Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei, in the month of March. She estimated the collective value of these machines at US$100 million to US$300 million. 

Meanwhile, as the orders come in, Beijing Aeonmed expects to ring in sales that are several times more than last year. 

“The epidemic is not a problem of just one country,” said Li. “The global fight against the pandemic is a test of made-in-China speed and quality.” 

Source : https://www.scmp.com/business/companies/article/3076657/chinas-factories-work-24/7-build-medical-ventilators-milan-new

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