Al-Quds University in the Palestinian city of Jerusalem has succeeded in constructing a fully-computerised and low-cost medical ventilator to be used for patients infected with the coronavirus.
The ventilator, which will be ready for production and widespread use after a final approval is issued by the Palestinian Standards Institute (PSI), has been designed to offer differing modes of breathing support, and can respond to varying emergency situations within intensive care units (ICUs) and field treatment centres.
The new equipment can be produced within a short space of time and at a low cost, adding to its benefits. It was built from materials and hardware that were locally available rather than externally sourced.
It was designed and constructed by a team of senior professors from the university's medicine and engineering faculties. A number of other experts were also involved in the building of the ventilator, including intensivists, pulmonologists, and electronic and computer engineers.
The ventilator prototype has already successfully passed various preliminary technical and medical tests which ended last Wednesday, with the PSI now conducting its examination of the machinery. With preliminary approval already having been issued, the university is now awaiting the final approval following the completion of more tests.
Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas called Al-Quds University's President Imad Abu Kishek and thanked him for the "scientific and humanitarian contribution", with the university having put all rights of intellectual property at Abbas' disposal as a gesture of gratitude for leading the West Bank's battle against the global pandemic.
The coronavirus outbreak, which originated in China towards the end of last year, has spread throughout the world and has infected some 1,447,000 people and led to 83,090 deaths. In the Palestinian territories themselves, there have so far been a total of 263 cases and only one confirmed death.
In response to the outbreak, the current Palestinian territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have imposed strict measures to prevent its spread including the closure of mosques in Gaza to limit gatherings, Gaza's sterilisation of all agricultural produce coming from Israel, and the PA's banning of all Israeli products from reaching its markets as well as its extension of the state of emergency to battle the virus.