After informed about the mechanical breathing device manufactured by the Mechanical and Chemical Industry Company (MKEK) fully at Turkey’s domestic facilities, National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that his ministry is trying to fulfill its duties in the best way amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Turkey produced an indigenous mechanical breathing device, named Sahra, or desert, he added.
The ministry has taken important steps in the production of protective health materials by improving its capabilities, and the production of masks, overalls and disinfectants continues while the ministry is expanding the production capacity every day, Akar said.
“So we have also produced Sahra mechanical breathing device, with completely indigenous design and production. This is a prototype. Our friends will improve them in the coming days. There is an approval process by the relevant departments and other units in the Health Ministry. By speeding this up as much as possible, we will realize its mass production,” the minister noted.
He also stressed that the ministry continues to take the necessary measures in line with the instructions of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to meet the needs of friendly and allied countries.
Turkey has so far sent aid to over 30 countries to step up their fight against the pandemic.
Akar said Sahra is much cheaper than its alternatives in the world, and that the ministry eyes to produce 500 mechanical ventilators every week.
“We will continue our studies in coordination with the Health Ministry to meet the needs of the [Turkish] Armed Forces on the one hand and our dear nation on the other,” he said.
Sahra, a device that has a feature of providing basic respiratory support for a COVID-19 patient who is aggravated due to shortness of breath and low oxygen in the blood, can also be used for other patients with respiratory failure.
With its modular structure, Sahra is available for use in healthcare units, military base areas or health units of the barracks, field hospitals, hospitals, emergency rooms, intensive care units as well as ambulance and homes.
So far, the novel coronavirus has claimed 1,643 lives in Turkey, with registered cases topping 74,100. The country has already repatriated tens of thousands of Turkish nationals living abroad.
After originating in Wuhan, China last December, COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has spread to at least 185 countries and regions across the world, with its epicenter shifting to Europe and the United States.
The pandemic has killed over 147,300 people and infected more than 2.17 million, while almost 555,000 have recovered from the disease, according to figures compiled by the U.S.’ Johns Hopkins University.