GM dispatches first batch of ventilators for COVID-19 patients

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(Reuters) - General Motors said on Friday it had started delivering the first batch of 54 ventilators to U.S. hospitals treating severely ill COVID-19 patients.

GM said the Franciscan Health Olympia Fields hospital in Olympia Fields, Illinois, and Chicago’s Weiss Memorial Hospitals will receive shipments of 10 ventilators each via package delivery company UPS Inc on Friday.

A third shipment comprising 34 ventilators will be delivered by UPS to the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency at the Gary/Chicago International Airport on Saturday to be distributed at other locations.

The deliveries are part of a contract awarded to GM by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for 30,000 ventilators by the end of August. The contract is worth $489.4 million.

GM is working with ventilator firm Ventec Life Systems to produce the equipment.

Reporting by Ashwini Raj and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi