Coronavirus company news summary – Rolls Royce secures DPA investment in Pascagoula naval facility – Operation Warp Speed on track to deliver Covid-19 vaccine by year’s end

13 August 2020 (Last Updated August 17th, 2020 07:25)

Rolls-Royce and the Defense Production Act (DPA) Title III office have agreed to invest in the upgrade of the company’s naval facility in Pascagoula, Mississippi, US. The facility is used by the company to build propellers and propulsion components for the US Navy ships and other vessels. The partnership will see DPA Title III invest $22m while the company will make additional investments in the building. The DPA funding will be used to construct a new 26,000ft2 building, including new foundry and machining equipment. The facility expansion will support new jobs and workforce development. Jackson County and the Mississippi state are also backing the effort.

US Army’s Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) is expanding the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) to treat critically ill Covid-19 patients. ECMO is a highly specialised treatment used on a patient experiencing heart or lung failure. The heart-lung bypass intervention is often the “last line of defence used for the most critically ill patients with severe pulmonary disease”. BAMC surgical services deputy commander Air Force colonel (Dr) Patrick Osborn said: "Whether due to Covid-19 or another condition, ECMO provides a life-support option that can potentially save lives when all other options are exhausted."

The US Department of Defense (DOD) has announced that Operation Warp Speed (OWS) is on track to deliver Covid-19 vaccine by the end of the year. The public-private partnership aims to deliver 300 million doses by January 2021. The effort involves the DOD, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), private industry and other federal departments and agencies. It is being overseen by HHS Secretary Alex Azar II and Defence Secretary Dr Mark Esper. OWS is making sure complete execution of all medical protocols to standard.