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Smiths Group to produce 10,000 ventilators for UK in response to COVID-19 crisis

Smiths Group PLC entered a contract to supply 10,000 ventilators to the U.K. government to meet demand.

The company will ramp up production in response to COVID-19 — a respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus which has infected over 19,780 people and caused more than 1,200 deaths in the U.K.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected 724,201 people and caused 34,026 deaths as of March 30, according to Johns Hopkins University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

Smiths Group is also in discussions to distribute its ventilator technology worldwide. The UK government has called on a group of firms — referred to as the Ventilator Challenge UK consortium — to help meed demand for ventilators.

Smiths said it was working closely with the group to expand its supply chain capability.

Last week, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson tested positive for the coronavirus, days after announcing stricter lockdown measures to try to slow the spread of the disease.

READ MORE: Sign up for our weekly coronavirus newsletter here, and read our latest coverage on the crisis here.