Coronavirus company news summary – L3 Harris to make respirators – Turkey delays conscription – New Zealand postpones international rotations

17 April 2020 (Last Updated April 17th, 2020 09:15)

17 April

L3Harris Technologies’ engineers and scientists have partnered with the University of Utah Health to produce positive air pressure respirators. The company is also making medical-grade respirator components for Parkview Health in Indiana, US. It has announced $2m contribution and additional support for Covid-19 relief and recovery efforts. The company is also offering grants to those employees impacted due to the pandemic. It is distributing protective suits and masks to a hospital and medical group in the country.

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is postponing several international routine rotations of its personnel due to border and travel restrictions across the globe imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19. Commander Joint Forces New Zealand rear admiral Jim Gilmour noted that the action did not amount to any mission withdrawal and that it still remains committed to international missions. The planned rotations will resume after the restrictions are lifted and as conditions allow.

Turkey has decided to delay the joining of new conscripts and extended the mandatory military service for male citizens, reported Al Jazeera. The decisions have been taken to support efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19. Defence Minister Hulusi Akar was quoted by the news agency as saying: “Despite the measures we have taken, we see that mustering out and conscription constitute a risk for our soldiers, society and the Turkish Armed Forces.” These decisions will impact nearly 55,000 citizens expected to join and another 66,000 about to complete their service.

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has expanded the scope and awarded funding for SAB Biotherapeutics’ existing Rapid Response contract. The company is on track to advance a new therapeutic drug candidate to treat Covid-19 and keep it ready for summer 2020. The expanded scope and funding have been awarded as a new stage, ‘Stage 4: COVID-19 Pandemic Response’ of the current contract.