Prime Minister Justin Trudeau outlined more details Tuesday on Canada’s plan for the procurement of medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Trudeau, the government is moving forward with the private sector on agreements to purchase equipment for the response to COVID-19. The Prime Minister also added that the production of ventilators, masks, and test kits are currently underway from companies across the country and newly-produced equipment should be available in the coming weeks.
“To make it easier for companies to help out during this critical time we launched Canada’s plan to mobilize industry to fight COVID-19 a little over a week ago. In the time since we’ve spoken directly to almost 3,000 companies who have reached out to offer their help,” said Trudeau.
Along with individual Canadian companies who have announced a crossover of their production, including Bauer Hockey and Canada Goose, Trudeau announced new contracts with Canadian health companies Thornhill Medical, Medicom, and Spartan Bioscience Inc as well as the signed letters of intent with five other companies to assist in the procurement of supplies.
“We know the demand for critical equipment and supplies will grow in the coming weeks, so we need a sustainable stable supply of these products,” said Trudeau from the press conference at Rideau Cottage. “Demand for these goods is going up so we’re making sure Canada is ready to keep up.”
The Prime Minister claimed that the federal government will be allocating $2 billion towards the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare professionals, which will include bulk purchases for provinces and territories.
“We’re coordinating with the provinces, the public health agency and the experts to make sure our healthcare workers get everything they need,” said Trudeau. “This is a priority for our government and we will continue to source new solutions every day.”
In his address, Trudeau also highlighted additional companies that have stepped forward in the ongoing fight against COVID-19 including Bombardier, 3M and Toys-R-Us.
“The entire world is trying to get their hands on the various equipment needed to fight this virus and that is why we know it will be important to have ‘made in Canada’ solutions,” added Trudeau. “I’m incredibly, incredibly proud of Canadian companies, suppliers and manufacturers that are stepping up and saying we want to help, we will help make…all the things that we are going to need in the coming weeks.”
The government is preparing for worst-case scenarios when it comes to the purchase, procurement and distribution of crucial medical equipment to treat and prevent COVID-19, according to Trudeau, however, he is still calling on Canadians to continue practicing social distancing in order to limit the need for resources.
“We will need more ventilators, masks and testing kits, but how many more we need depends entirely on you,” Trudeau said. “If you stay home and follow public health recommendations, you can slow the spread and that means fewer patients in our hospitals, fewer people to test, fewer ventilators to use on critical patients so keep doing your part and help us keep Canada safe.”
More to come.