Ukraine has appealed to Tesla chief Elon Musk to supply vital ventilators for its coronavirus patients as the pandemic takes hold in the post-Soviet state.

On Tuesday, the maverick entrepreneur tweeted that his Tesla electronic car manufacturer has “extra FDA-approved ventilators” and was ready to ship them to any country where they would be immediately needed.

The Ukrainian Embassy in the United States posted late Wednesday on Musk’s Twitter page saying: “People in hospitals need ventilators. We are ready to cooperate!”

“The pandemic situation in Ukraine is approaching its peak, April is going to be the hardest,” the embassy said.

Ulana Suprun, a former health minister, also wrote to Musk in the comments to his post, saying “Ukraine is in dire need of ventilators”.

“Please help us!” she said.

Ukraine has confirmed 804 cases of the virus, 20 of whom have died.

The country of around 40 million people has approximately 3,900 ventilators.

Ukraine’s health ministry has said that is not enough for all the intensive care beds in its infectious disease hospitals.

Musk has previously delivered ventilators to hospitals in the United States.

Ukraine’s economy has been hit hard by the conflict with Russian-backed separatists in its east and is reliant on international aid.

Ukrainian officials have estimated that between 7 and 22 million of its citizens will eventually catch COVID-19.

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