MEDICAL chiefs believe Scotland has enough ventilators to cope with the peak of the coronavirus outbreak.

Boris Johnson made a plea to Donald Trump for life-saving ventilators to treat patients with coronavirus on Friday after failing to take part in an EU scheme.

The US president said on Saturday the appeal came when he spoke with Mr Johnson on Friday, the day the Prime Minister tested positive for Covid-19.

Scotland's chief medical officer said Scotland had already doubled capacity and that before the current outbreak, there were plans to quadruple the ventilator capacity in the country.

She said: "Depending on how well these suppression measures work, we think we are coming close to having enough ventilators for the peak of the virus outbreak.

READ MORE: Coronavirus - Boris Johnson makes plea to Donald Trump for ventilators

"We have orders coming from countries across the world, I understand some from Germany cleared customs in Folkestone on Friday and are making their way to Scotland and we now have a group of all four UK nations talking about where the ventilators coming into the country should go, and they will be distributed on clinical need across the four countries."


Scotland's national clinical director Prof Jason Leitch said Scotland had enough ventilators "on the ground" at present for the "doubling" of capacity.

"Right now, only half of intensive care is full - there are empty intensive care beds just now, ventilated, staffed," he said.

"We have orders in for the ventilators we would need for that quadrupling.

"And we are as confident as we can be as the world seeks those ventilators that we will get them."

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove admitted there was "communication confusion" after the Government missed the deadline to join an EU scheme to get extra ventilators amid the coronavirus outbreak.

It comes after the official spokesperson for the Prime Minister said the UK had decided against joining the EU's procurement scheme - as the UK is no longer a member of the EU - earlier this week.

The Government has ordered 8,000 additional ventilators to boost the stock of 8,000 already available to the NHS.

The UK has decided to source ventilators from British manufacturers who have never made the products before. Dyson, the household appliance firm, said it had received an order for 10,000 machines.

The government was further accused of missing out of up to 25,000 ventilators by failing to respond to an offer from a British firm.

Direct Access, a company based in Nantwich, Cheshire, and supplier to the NHS, contacted the health department early last week after acquiring an initial 5,000 ventilators. It followed up two days later with an additional offer of 50 million coronavirus testing kits.

But its email went unanswered, despite further appeals, and the ventilators were snapped up by other countries.

Mr Gove told the BBC: "There was some confusion over our involvement in that [EU] scheme.

"But I've talked to senior figures in the NHS and they've reassured me that there is nothing that we can't do as an independent nation that being part of that scheme would have allowed us to do."

Quizzed on whether an email was received by the Government, Mr Gove said: "There was some communication confusion, I don't know all the details of that".

He added: "I do know having talked to senior figures in the NHS that there's nothing that participating in that scheme would have allowed us to do that we have not been able to do ourselves."

Mr Gove also issued an apology to a company which said it did not receive a reply from the Government, having offered to procure ventilators for the NHS.

An NHS supplier in Nantwich said that in the international market it had found 25,000 ventilators which it could have procured for the Government.

The supplier said that having asked the Government if it wanted the ventilators, it did not receive a reply.