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High Demand For Ventilators As US Bracing For COVID-19 Peak

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President Donald Trump said that as the United States approaches cornavirus infection peak in a couple of weeks, there will be enough number of ventilators available for COVID-19 patients in the country.

Responding to a question at a White House news conference Monday, Trump said, "We're going to be in very good shape."

"We have now 10 companies, at least, making hundreds of thousands ventilators in a very short period of time," he told reporters.

Severe respiratory congestion is one of the serious symptoms of coronavirus, and ventilators help such patients keep breathing.

It is estimated that more than 2,000 people could die each day in the United States in mid-April, when the country is expected to reach "peak resource use."

The President's assurance comes at a time several hospitals are at risk of running out of equipment. Shortage of ventilators has become a major concern among health professionals.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said the need of ventilators is dire in the U.S. state with the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases.

"We need more ventilators... This is real life. This is life and death," he said on Twitter.

At Monday's briefing with members of the Coronavirus Task Force, Trump repeated his accusation that hospitals in some states are hoarding critical medical supplies, including ventilators, without naming them.

The President claimed that on Monday, the United States hit more than 1 million samples tested to diagnose coronavirus. "We are now testing nearly 100,000 samples a day." Both of them, according to him, are levels that no other country has reached.

Trump also announced that Abbott Labs has developed a new rapid coronavirus diagnostic test that can provide results in 5 minutes. The new test will be available at urgent care clinics and doctors' office.

Also, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization to BARDA to allow anti-malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine sulfate and chloroquine phosphate products as alternative treatment for COVID-19 patients.

Health Secretary Alex M. Azar said pharmaceutical company Sandoz has provided 30 million doses of hydroxychloroquine tablets to the government. And Bayer has donated 1 million doses of the chloroquine, which will soon be distributed to states and state health officials around the country. Teva Pharmaceuticals is also donating 6 million doses of hydroxychloroquine to hospitals.

Trump said FDA has authorized the Battelle's N95 respirator mask sterilization kits. Each machine can disinfect 120,000 masks per day. "And they have two in Ohio, one in New York, and one will soon be shipped to Seattle, Washington, and also to Washington, D.C."

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