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MUMBAI: Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M) has teamed up with two state-owned companies or public sector undertakings (PSUs) to work with an undisclosed manufacturer to simplify design and scale up production of ventilators amid a surge in cases of Covid-19 in the country, a top company executive said on Thursday.

"At one end, we along with 2 large PSUs are working with an existing manufacturer of high spec ventilators to help them to simplify design and scale up capacity. Our engineering team is right now with them working on it," Pawan Goenka, managing director, M&M, said in a tweet.

"At the other end we are working on an automated version of the bag valve mask ventilator (commonly known as ambu bag). We hope to have a prototype ready in 3 days for approval. Once proven, this design will be made available to all for manufacturing," Goenka added.

The pandemic has spread across 175 countries, with nearly half a million affected and death toll at 21,293. In India, cases have surged past 650, with number of deaths at 13.

On March 22, Anand Mahindra, chairman Mahindra Group, had offered to assist the government with manufacturing ventilators and opening up resorts owned by Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd for setting up temporary care facilities.

“We need to create scores of temporary hospitals and we have a scarcity of ventilators. To help in the response of this unprecedented threat, we at the Mahindra Group will immediately begin work on how our manufacturing facilities can make ventilators," Mahindra had said in a series of tweets on Sunday.

He had also said Mahindra Foundation would create a fund to assist the hardest hit stakeholders in the value chain including small businesses and the self-employed individuals.

“I will contribute 100% of my salary to it and will add more over the next few months," Mahindra had said, adding that he would encourage associates to make voluntary contribution to the said fund.

Mahindra had added that it was highly likely that India was in stage three of transmission of novel coronavirus infection, which could lead to exponential rise in the number of casualties.

“Cases could rise exponentially with million of casualties, putting a huge strain on medical infrastructure," he had said.

On Wednesday, supporting the government’s announcement of a country-wide lockdown, he had said, "the lockdown is necessary, but will be devastating for the homeless, daily wage earners and contract workers."


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