Walton is all set to promote its new edition in the market. It had produced ventilators with the help of world-renowned medical equipment manufacturer Medtronic. With the initiative, Walton will be the first firm in Bangladesh to manufacture ventilators.
The development came when the infections from the rogue virus and the deaths linked to it are rising alarmingly. Walton came forward to make ventilators in the country after the virus hit the country in March last year.
Walton was the first company in the world to have signed an agreement with Medtronic. Later, big companies from many other countries signed deals with it.
It is expected that the development would help critical coronavirus patients to receive proper treatment. An official announcement will be made within a week as the clinical trial of the device is over and the ventilators are now ready for sale.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Walton’s refrigerator department, Anisur Rahman Mallik said the WPB-560 model ventilator made by Walton with the help of Medtronic was ready for sale.
“On April 10, we received the necessary documents. We will make an official announcement by April 15.”
The price of a ventilator will be around Tk 7 lakh, he said.
It made the ventilators using the patent and design of Medtronic, an Ireland-based medical device company run by Bangladeshi expatriate Omar Ishrak.
A senior Medtronic official said: “We will make an official announcement on April 13.”
In March last year, the design of the Medtronic PB 560 model ventilator was unveiled in 35 countries around the world.
Ventilators are very important in the treatment of coronavirus patients. Within a few days of being infected, the patient’s condition can deteriorate to a point where it can be difficult to save a life without this device.
Ventilators are now in great demand all over the world, including Bangladesh. But the supply is very low compared to that.
Around 629 ventilators were in use in the hospitals that are dedicated to treating Covid-19 patients, as of March.
Zunaid Ahmed Palak, ICT state minister, said: “We have got the permission for the initiative taken by Walton in April last year to make ventilators with the help of Medtronic.”
“We will be able to bring it to the market very soon.”
The ventilator could be sent to the international market for Tk 12 lakh to Tk 13 lakh, which is 30 per cent to 40 per cent lower than the current price, he said.
MH Chowdhury Lenin, a public health expert and chairman of the medicine department at the Health and Hope Hospital in Dhaka, said oxygen is injected into the lungs by a ventilator. It is used when the human lung fails to function properly.
Currently, 80 per cent of the patients who need it are being given ventilation facilities, he said.
Md Nazmul Haque, director of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital, the country’s largest state-run hospital, said the hospital has 20 beds in the intensive care unit and each has a ventilator.
“Had we had 5,000 ICU beds with ventilators, the demand for ventilators would not have fallen. The ventilator crisis has reached such a point.”