One of the world's big industrial giants is throwing itself into the fight against Covid-19, with General Electric (GE) - Get Report boosting the production of ventilators and other medical equipment used to treat and diagnose patients with the deadly virus.
GE on Thursday said its healthcare unit is expanding its manufacturing capacity in order to roll out not only more ventilators, but also more patient monitors, CTs, ultra sound devices, and mobile X-ray systems.
GE's announcement comes with federal and state governments scrambling to buy more medical equipment to deal with a growing surge of seriously ill coronavirus patients, with rising concerns that ventilator capacity could fall short as the crisis deepens.
"To help address this global challenge, we have increased our manufacturing capacity and output of equipment ... while also taking steps to ensure safe operations for our employees," said Kieran Murphy, president and CEO of GE Healthcare.
In order to boost ventilator production, GE has added manufacturing lines and now has shifts working around-the-clock to produce this vital piece of medical equipment. The Boston-based company said it is also hiring additional manufacturing workers and shifting employees from other units to help out as well.
The company said it also was working with its supply chain to "mitigate shortages."
GE field engineers, in turn, have been provided with personal protective equipment when out servicing medical devices used by various hospitals and medical centers, with the company also ramping up "remote diagnostic and repair capabilities."
Shares of GE fell 2.12% to $6.46 a share in premarket trading on Thursday.