Ford partners with GE Healthcare to produce 50,000 ventilators 100 days

Ford Motor Company, in collaboration with GE Healthcare, announced today it will begin producing in Michigan a third-party ventilator with the goal to produce 50,000 of the much-needed units within 100 days.

Ford will provide its manufacturing capabilities to quickly scale up production, while GE Healthcare will lend its expertise and license the current ventilator design from Airon Corp. — a small, privately held company specializing in high-tech pneumatic life support products. GE Healthcare brought the Airon Corp. design to Ford’s attention as part of the companies’ efforts to scale production of ventilators quickly to help clinicians treat COVID-19 patients.

“The Ford and GE Healthcare teams, working creatively and tirelessly, have found a way to produce this vitally needed ventilator quickly and in meaningful numbers,” said Jim Hackett, Ford president and CEO. “By producing this ventilator in Michigan, in strong partnership with the UAW (United Auto Workers), we can help health care workers save lives, and that’s our number-one priority.” Ford will initially send a team to work with Airon to boost production in Florida, and by the week of April 20, will start production at Ford’s Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti, Mich., quickly ramping up to reach full production to help meet surging demand.

Ford expects to produce 1,500 by the end of April, 12,000 by the end of May and 50,000 by July 4 — helping the US government meet its goal of producing 100,000 ventilators in 100 days.

Seaoil gives free fuel to transport medical frontliners

Seaoil is giving a subsidy is for ambulances and vehicles of hospital frontliners handling COVID-19 cases. The fuel company is supplying free fuel to over 20 hospitals nationwide, including the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), San Lazaro Hospital, East Avenue Medical Center, and the Philippine Children’s Medical Center and the Philippine Heart Center (PHC), among others.

The fuel e-vouchers are given directly by Seaoil to the hospitals. These vouchers are honored in all open Seaoil stations nationwide.

Seaoil CEO Glenn Yu said that the company “continues to do its part in helping… frontliners conquer COVID-19. We are maximizing resources to (provide) assistance and aid for our employees and the community.”

The company previously extended P5 (gasoline) and P3 (diesel) discounts in selected stations across the country for those directly involved in maintaining health and security. The campaign benefits medical professionals and technicians, hospital and clinic staff, uniformed personnel of the AFP, PNP and Coast Guards, and LGU officials, health workers, and quarantine enforcers.

Hino’s Euro 4 AC Class II PUVs are ready to serve health workers and frontliners against the pandemic.

Hino x DoTr for free rides to health workers, frontliners

Hino Motors Philippines partners with the Department of Transportation for free shuttle services for health workers and frontliners in Metro Manila. Free rides using Hino’s Euro 4 AC Class II PUVs have been made operational daily until from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Qualified commuters only have to present their IDs for proper identification. The shuttle services prioritize health workers and frontliners, but citizens of the city who need to go to the hospital or other establishments for basic necessities may also ride the shuttle as long as they present their quarantine pass.

In compliance with the enhanced community quarantine guidelines, preventive measures against COVID-19 are implemented inside the PUVs such as social distancing, basic alcohol sanitization, and free face masks for passengers. The PUV units also undergo disinfection before and after deployment.

Said Hino Chairman Vicente T. Mills Jr.: “We thank and sympathize with our health workers and frontliners. We stand by our corporate mission of making the world a better place to live, by helping people and goods get where they need to go ― safely, economically and with environmental responsibility. Through this simple effort, we hope that our frontliners would know that they are not alone in this fight. We from Hino and the DoTr are with them.”

Boxes of surgical masks from Geely await distribution to hospitals.

Geely donates surgical masks to DoH

The Geely Holding Group, through the foundation of its chairman, the Li Shufu Charity Foundation, has donated through Sojitz G Auto Philippines (SGAP) 20,000 pieces of surgical masks to the Department of Health (DoH) to support the medical frontliners battling the COVID-19 pandemic. The company heeded the call of hospitals for medical supplies and personal protective equipment which health workers and frontliners desperately need to safely attend to COVID-19 patients.

As countries race to end the global coronavirus pandemic, Geely Holding Group said in a release that it is “looking forward to seeing the Philippines and the world win this battle very soon and bring every single person’s life back to normalcy.”

Shell Country Health Advisor Dra. Rose Rivera (third from right) leads Shell officials in turning over N95 face masks to Department of Health (DoH) Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje. Also in photo are (from left): Shell country occupational health nurse Patrick Jeremillo, DoH Director Gloria Balboa, Assistant Secretary Kenneth Ronquillo, Usec. Gerry Bayugo, Usec. Rosette Vergeire, and Asec. Nestor Santiago.

UP-PGH, DoH receive N95 face masks from Shell Philippines

Shell Philippines has also stepped up to the plate by making much-needed donations of N95 face masks to those who most need them: frontliners in the fight against the virus.

“We learned of the dilemma of our frontliners, our everyday heroes, struggling to have their basic mask as part of their PPEs,” said Cesar Abaricia of Shell Philippines external relations. “We donated 5,000 face masks for UP-PGH (University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital) and DoH (Department of Health)… We salute all our health workers fighting against COVID-19.”

Mr. Abaricia added that the firm hopes to send out more PPE supplies, should it be able to source more, to those who need it most. The firm is also donating its Select Water to seven hospitals, and is leveraging its retail network to give “food packs, biscuits and water for medical workers, police force, and military personnel, and logistics drivers.”

Shell also gave to the Municipality of Pasacao, Camarines Sur toward the purchase of relief goods for indigent families, and is a partner of the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation in its pandemic response.

The company’s “Project Shelter” gives employees flexible working arrangements, and available available financial assistance instruments such as emergency loans. Shell is also providing virtual counseling services, as well as a 24-hour “Tele-Medicine” service to “minimize staff exposure to hospitals and clinics.” If needed, staff members can access “temporary accommodation and transportation support needed for business continuity.”

Meantime, the firm said on its website ( that it has “business continuity plans in place to sustain (its) operations.” Malampaya is still online, providing “30% of Luzon’s power needs,” it continued, and promised to strive to continue providing “vital energy products to… customers and communities.”

For forecourt staff, Shell provides accommodations in its stations — plus transportation to and from work, face masks, and alcohol for when they are on duty and when traveling to and from work.  Staffers are also provided meals when on duty; financial support is extended to those grounded by the quarantine.