Volkswagen on Monday said it forms part of the National Government Task Force team and is to begin manufacturing ventilators based on an open-source design produced by Seat in Spain. This is only one of the numerous initiatives Volkswagen SA is undertaking to help health care providers treat coronavirus patients.
Production will start as soon as clearance is received from government on the build of the ventilators from its Uitenhage Plant, near Port Elizabeth, based of the model OxyGEN, a free hardware designed by the company Protofy.xyz. Volkswagen SA said its Research and Development team is using 3D printing technology to produce parts for the mechanical ventilator.
OxyGEN is said to be a less complicated version of a ventilator, a medical device that experts say is in critically short supply to help patients who have respiratory failure and need help to breathe because of the coronavirus.
Volkswagen further announced plans to partner with Gusco, which was previously a beneficiary of the company’s Community Trust, to produce soft fabric face masks aimed at reducing the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Following a successful trial batch, production of these masks began last week, with the goal of delivering a few thousand masks over the coming weeks in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.