PRODUCTION of life-saving ventilators is set to begin in the Borders this week.

It has been highlighted across the country that the NHS faces a severe shortage of the medical devices in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday Michael Gove announced, during the UK Government's daily briefings, that Plexus would begin production of ventilators in Kelso.

Plexus already manufacturers other vital equipment used to help patients suffering from COVID-19, such as monitors, infusion pumps and bronchoscopes.

Ronnie Darroch, executive vice president of Plexus, confirmed his factory in the Borders would be at the forefront of meeting the equipment shortage in hospitals.

He said: “We are proud to be a part of this opportunity to produce a substantial number of ventilators that will be deployed in hospitals across the United Kingdom.

"I am humbled by the incredible work ethic of the Plexus teams in Kelso and Livingston, and around the globe, who are doing their utmost to make the rapid production of these critical products possible.

"I also would like to thank the courageous medical professionals of the NHS who we are honoured to serve."

Plexus employs around 350 worker at its plant in Kelso.

The ventilators will be manufactured to an already-existing design.

Plexus CEO Todd Kelsey added: “Plexus is uniquely qualified to support the design, development and production of critical medical equipment that assists healthcare workers in the fight against COVID-19.

"In addition to producing ventilators, Plexus also manufactures several other essential medical devices that further the fight against COVID-19 in its facilities around the world.

"I applaud our team members, particularly those in our manufacturing sites, who every day are demonstrating their courage and unwavering support of our customers and the brave medical professionals around the globe.

"Our teams’ contributions throughout Plexus provide us the opportunity to directly and indirectly support the fight against COVID-19, while also contributing to the supply of those products that are essential and in dire need.”