Philips CEO: ‘The Netherlands ordered respirators two weeks ago’

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The Netherlands rang the bell at Philips for respirators two weeks ago, Philips CEO Frans van Houten told television program Op1. He did not discuss whether it was late. “I don’t think the whole world has looked at China sharp enough. It was thought it would be okay.” Many respirators were delivered in China at the beginning of this year. A great demand from Italy followed. “And then the stock ran out.”

The Dutch government has outstanding orders for respirators from various companies. On Saturday, Philips delivered 100. In total, 1000 were ordered from the company. “The others will come as soon as possible. It depends on how fast we can produce.” The company is now trying to increase production considerably. “Normally it would take us a year. Now try to do that in weeks.”

More places on IC

Respirators are crucial in expanding the number of intensive care beds in the Netherlands. Corona patients who end up there sometimes need to be ventilated for weeks. More places must now be created in intensive care.

“In the most likely scenario, there will be 2500 corona patients in intensive care in mid-April,” said RIVM’s Jacco Wallinga yesterday. Last week, that number was still regarded as the gloomy scenario of RIVM. Wallinga then hoped that a maximum of 1000 beds would be needed in early April. But that number was already reached yesterday.

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