On March 28, China Association for Medical Devices Industry (CAMDI) received a letter for help from the Embassy of Israel in China, which stated that Israel needs to import a batch of ventilators for the treatment of COVID-19. The Embassy of Israel in China will be appreciated if CAMDI can support and assist in the procurement affairs of the Israeli government.
“Recently, we have received help from many embassies in China, including the U.S. Embassy in China, the Embassy of Spain in Beijing, and the Embassy of Israel in China. All the embassies ask us to help contact or recommend ventilator manufacturers in China to supply ventilators. China Enterprises have provided over 1700 invasive ventilators to foreign countries within 10 days. Due to the surge in production order of domestic ventilator manufacturers, the orders of most enterprises have been scheduled to June or July.” According to relevant leaders of CAMDI, ventilators as the most critical medical device for treating COVID-19 patients are in very short supply due to the global outbreak of COVID-19, thus great expectations are placed on “Made-in-China” ventilators in the global fight against the epidemic.
This can be directly seen from the “Anti-epidemic Supplies Group” of CAMDI. Every day there are many purchase requests for ventilators from overseas, including purchasing lists from the Embassy of Italy in China, the Embassy of the Netherlands in China and the Embassy of Spain in Beijing. According to incomplete statistics, there were almost 50 messages about the supply and demand for ventilators in the “Anti-epidemic Supplies Group” of CAMDI within two weeks.
At a press conference held by the joint prevention and control mechanism of the State Council on March 30, Xu Kemin, director of with the Department of Industry Policy and Law of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the PRC (MIIT), introduced that since the outbreak of the epidemic, major ventilator manufacturers in China have resumed production for the first time. For instance, on the second day of Chinese New Year, Shenzhen Mindray recalled the technical cadres who were on vacation to resume production and work in full gear. Meanwhile, the industry and information technology departments provide support for 794 of the 853 national supporting manufacturer in the resumption of work and production and help the enterprises to solve the problems of parts shortage and poor logistics and transportation in a timely manner. By March 29, the major ventilator manufacturers had supplied more than 27,000 ventilators nationwide, including 3,000 invasive ventilators, which provides a strong guarantee for epidemic prevention and control in China, especially in winning the battle against the coronavirus and protect Hubei and Wuhan.
At present, there are 21 invasive ventilator manufacturers in China, and eight of which have obtained the CE marking (EU’s mandatory conformity standard) for their main products (weekly capacity: about 2,200 units), accounting for about one-fifth of the global capacity, according to Mr. Xu. About 20,000 units have been signed, and at the same time, there are still a large number of international orders being negotiated every day. According to incomplete statistics, while ensuring domestic demand, over 1,700 invasive ventilators have been provided to foreign countries within just 10 days since March 19, accounting for half of the total domestic supply so far this year.
On March 29, French Prime Minister Philippe announced a global order for one billion face masks, 1,000 ventilators and five million rapid test kits, which were mainly from China. Then in the next 15 days, at least one flight carrying 100 tons of face masks and other medical equipment arrived in France every day to provide emergency support for the front-line medical staff in France and alleviate the pressing problems.
Due to the surge in international orders, the production order has been scheduled to June and July for domestic ventilator manufacturers (especially the invasive ventilator manufacturers), and even to August for some manufacturers. According to the working personnel of CAMDI, it is not possible to receive an order and deliver products for the factories of Mindray, Aeonmed, and Ambul before July. There may be some stock in circulation domain, but the prices may be higher. “The production order of our company has been scheduled to August. The output is estimated to reach about 1,000 units in April and is expected to reach 1,500 units in May. The capacity is expanding, which poses great pressure and challenge on us,” said, Wang Shuangwei, Vice President of Shenzhen Association of Medical Devices and President of Ambulanc (Shenzhen) Tech. Co., Ltd.
By March 31, a total of 31 enterprises have obtained 62 registration certificates of the ventilator in China, among which 23 are invasive ventilator manufacturers (including two enterprises producing pediatric ventilator and neonatal ventilator), according to the data from the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA). At present, Mindray, Superstar, Ambul, Security, Prunus, Puao, Siriusmed, Aerospace, Eternity and other companies have obtained the CE marking.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the member enterprises of CAMDI have been providing support for the fight against coronavirus in the rear all the time, and all the staff in CAMDI have also carried out daily summary and report for the actions of the member enterprises to fight against the pandemic. For more details, please refer to the “Activities Column” of the official website of CAMDI.