Domestically produced, 100 respirators were delivered to Istanbul's new Basaksehir City Hospital which is now partially operational. A massive undertaking, the private-public initiative will eventually handle some 30,000 patients on a daily basis.
Turkey on Monday delivered its first batch of 100 domestically produced ventilators to country's new mega-hospital in Istanbul with 5,000 more to be mass-produced and delivered by end of May.
"Standing on its own feet, Turkey is portraying its power at a time where international organisations have lost their purpose," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said via video link at the inauguration on Monday.
The Basaksehir City Hospital can provide health services to 23,600 patients over an indoor space of 1 million square metres, the project website said.
Turkey will produce 5,000 medical ventilators by the end of May, in a bid to meet potential demands in the country, Erdogan said.
“While the world is facing difficulties, Turkey has successfully overcome hurdles to make its own medical ventilators,” the Turkish president said.
Expandable critical care services
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said the new facility, "has 2,686 beds, which all have intensive care equipment," and "all of the beds can be used for intensive care when necessary."
Technology Minister Mustafa Varank promised to deliver the "5,000 ventilators by the end of May," having already delivered some of the home-produced devices.
'Impossible to buy'
Varank stressed that ventilators are nearly impossible to buy.
"That's why we took action at the very beginning of the [epidemic] to produce these devices using our own means."
BIOSYS, a Turkish technology enterprise, developed the device before the pandemic, and Turkish firms mobilised together to mass-produce them ever since.
Dozens of Turkish engineers worked hard and managed to set up mass production of the first indigenous intensive care ventilator in just 14 days, Varank said.
The coronavirus death toll in Turkey has exceeded 2,000, with over 86,000 cases to date.
After appearing in China last December, Covid-19 spread across at least 185 countries and regions across the world.
The pandemic has killed over 165,000 people, with total infections exceeding 2.4 million.