Ventilators are in demand everywhere as they are providing life support to critically ill Covid-19 patients, making their breathing easier and helping them fight the disease.
Now governments all over the world are scrambling to ramp up their healthcare facilities with ventilators, even curbing their sales to other countries, prohibiting the exports of their components.
To overcome the shortage of ventilators, Türkiye roped in various private and public sectors — from defence to the electric and home appliances industry — and domestic brands like Arcelik, ASELSAN, Baykar, and Biosys, started to produce ventilators at an impressive speed. About 100 machines were dispatched to Istanbul's new Basaksehir City Hospital on Monday.
Under the same initiative, the group will deliver 5,000 more by the end of May, as they promised a month ago.
"Standing on its own feet, Türkiyeis portraying its power at a time where international organisations have lost their purpose," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said via video link at the inauguration ceremony on Monday.
Technical manager of Baykar, producing domestic unmanned aerial vehicles, Selcuk Bayraktar said when they presented the project to Erdogan, the President said: “I believe Turkish engineers do the best in the fastest way.”
Erdogan’s words are great morale for the engineers who are working on this project, Bayraktar said.
Working with ‘national mobilisation’ soul
The respirator device has emerged after a lot of hard work, with more than 120 engineers dedicated to the project, which Erdogan has followed the day by day.
The engineers themselves said: “Put us in a room and don't let us leave until we succeed.”
The project has been initiated by the Ministry of Industry and Technology and carried out under the leadership of the Ministry of Health.
Cemal Erdogan, founder and general manager of Biosys Biomedical, said that the company was established in 2012 with the techno-enterprise capital support of the Ministry of Industry and Technology.
They succeeded in commercialising the product in 2017 with the support of TUBITAK an institute for technology, KOSGEB a union for small and medium enterprises and Bilkent University, Erdogan expressed the company’s pride that their work was able to deliver a meaningful service today.
"The mass production of these respiratory devices... has been successfully completed. We are here to give our country and all humanity a comfortable breath," he said.
Oguzhan Ozturk, Chief Technology Officer of Arcelik, said: "The proudest moment in our life ... We have completed a very safe prototype which can be produced in two weeks.
“We made this mass-produced in four weeks. Currently, we have reached a production capacity of 5,000 units per month.”
Ozturk also said their engineers have experienced the most exciting sleepless nights of their lives.