We are collecting our favourite good news stories to celebrate the incredible work of technicians in the fight against Covid-19. This post is Part 2 – click here to read Part 1! If you have any stories you’d like to share with us, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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UCL – Donating PCR Machines
In Part 1, the Nottingham universities donated 16 polymer chain reaction machines to the Covid-19 testing centre in Milton Keynes. They’re not the only ones; universities from across the country are donating the use of their machines, including University College London.
UCL donated the use of their 16 PCR machines, which are normally used to carry out groundbreaking research into cures for cancer, dementia and infectious diseases. The machines will be used to analyse a patient’s saliva/swab sample, and take just a few hours to detect the presence of Covid-19.
Imperial College London – Researching the Vaccine
Professor Robin Shattock and his team in Imperial College London’s Department of Infectious Disease developed a candidate vaccine within 14 days of getting the sequence from China. They plan to move onto clinical trials this summer. Professor Robin Shattock told Channel 4 News if all goes well, a vaccine could be available some time next year.
He told the Telegraph: “We may not be the first, but it only requires one group to get there. We’re only one party and at some point we might say: ‘Somebody else is ahead, we should stop working’. While we want to go the whole way, we’re also prepared to stand down,”
University of Birmingham – Making Hand Sanitizer
A team of technicians are working at the University of Birmingham’s flagship Collaborative Teaching Laboratory to produce urgently needed hand sanitiser. They have already made more than 200 litres of sanitiser, which is being sent to Birmingham City Council to be distributed to frontline staff. They are working to a formula provided by the World Health Organisation.
Dyson – Producing Over 10,000 Ventilators
Technicians in industry will be put to work soon as the government has ordered 10,000 ventilators from Dyson to help deal with the coronavirus crisis. Dyson has said they have hundreds of engineers working round the clock to design the ventilators from scratch, although this means the order is still subject to stringent medical testing.
Dyson have said they will produce an additional 5,000 ventilators, 1,000 of which will be donated to the UK. The other 4,000 will be donated to other countries around the world.