Korea’s sole negative pressure ambulance maker Autech in high demand amid COVID

2020.03.25 14:22:37 | 2020.03.25 16:18:36

[Photo by Autech Corp.]이미지 확대

[Photo by Autech Corp.]

South Korea’s special vehicle manufacturer Autech Corp. plans to ramp up production of negative pressure paramedic ambulances in demand by public health centers and fire stations for their fight against COVID-19.

Autech is a leading player in the area of manufacturing special purpose vehicles such as cold-storage vehicles, ambulances, and vehicles for the disabled. It is the country’s only company that can produce a negative pressure ambulance, for which demand is mounting to transport affected patients safely.

Autech is currently reaching out to participate in a government project where about 140 public health centers and 20 fire stations are preparing to introduce more negative pressure ambulances as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, said a company official on Tuesday.

Autech shares zoomed 11.94 percent to close at 8,060 won ($6.55) on Wednesday.

A patient infected with COVID-19 or other infectious diseases should be transported in a special vehicle equipped with a negative pressure system because it is critical to protect both patient and medical personnel and prevent further infection by using ventilation with a special filter while blocking the virus from the outside during the transport.

Since 2013, Autech has developed negative pressure ambulances that use air pressure differences to block the mixing of air inside with the outside air. The company completed commercial development in 2016 and signed a 10 billion won ($850,000) contract with National Medical Center to supply its vehicles.

Autech’s negative pressure paramedic ambulance can adjust air pressure by seven levels, lowering the air inside to up to minus 200Pa with stricter standards than in advanced European countries, the official explained.

By Shin Soo-hyun and Minu Kim

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