As the fight against COVID-19 intensifies, healthcare officials have highlighted the lack of resources that are affecting their efforts. To prevent unnecessary infections, doctors, nurses, first responders, law enforcement, and even the military have pointed out the need for personal protective equipment (PPE). On the other hand, patients who are unfortunate enough to experience the worst symptoms will require mechanical assistance in order to breathe. Ventilators are in short supply, but Ford is converting its Mustang factory to produce another essential apparatus.

The inadequate supply of machines available for healthcare providers is alarming. Almost every country affected by increased COVID-19 cases has reported shortages. Their respective governments have sought help from the most unlikely of companies. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently placed an order for 10,000 ventilators. The contract was awarded to Dyson, which designed and built the CoVent. It appears that the United States government has a similar plan in mind.

Ford has made so many face shields that it’s run short on elastic needed for headbands, innovating a new way to fasten shields to heads using trimmed vehicle door seals. #BuiltFordProud 👨🏼‍⚕️🛡💙

— Mike Levine (@mrlevine) April 1, 2020

Unlike Dyson, which is producing ventilators, Ford is focusing on respirators. The engineers are allegedly using the fans found on ventilated seats of another Ford vehicle. Fox News reveals that these parts are sourced from F-150 pickup trucks. The carmaker is not alone as this project is a partnership with 3M. The facility in question is the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan that normally produced Ford Mustangs and Lincoln Continentals.

Another look at a go-fast hood prototype for the PAPR (papper) that Ford is working on with 3M to help protect medical workers by filtering the air they breathe. Clockspeed is in days and hours! #BuiltFordProud

— Mike Levine (@mrlevine) March 24, 2020

Work is slated to begin as early as Monday, while the factory will operate in 10-hour shifts every day of the week. Prototypes have been drafted on paper and it shows the fan, a rechargeable battery, and a 3M HEPA filter. Ford is projected to complete 1,000 respirators every month at the facility and will eventually increase the numbers down the line.

The Ford Motor Company logo
The Ford Motor Company logo atop the Ford world headquarters is pictured Jan. 25, 2007, in Dearborn, Michigan. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, its neighbour across the pond is expecting delivery of the Dyson CoVent ventilators this month. The company's executive confirmed that he plans to donate 5,000 more units to be distributed to the NHS, and other hospitals around the globe that need the machines. A vaccine or cure for COVID-19 is still not available despite several promising treatments. The respirator built by Ford and 3M should help healthcare professionals stay safe from coronavirus transmission.