Canada to spend Can$2 billion on medical equipment as virus toll rises

Agence France-Presse
Canada to spend Can$2 billion on medical equipment as virus toll rises


Canada orders more than 60 million N95 masks, 157 million surgical masks, 1,570 respirators from companies in Canada, Europe and the United States, and is working to secure another 4,000

OTTAWA, Canada – Canada will spend $2 billion (USD 1.43 billion) on medical equipment as hospitals fear shortages in the face of the accelerating coronavirus epidemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday, March 31.

The move came as the country reached the grim milestone of 100 deaths, and as nearly 8,500 cases were reported by mid-day.

(READ: Canadian PM Trudeau’s wife recovers from coronavirus)

“For some equipment, we have supply for 3 to 7 days only,” said Francois Legault, premier of Quebec – the province most affected, with nearly half of the cases in Canada.

The money dispensed from the capital Ottawa will be used to buy “personal protective equipment” such as masks, visors, gowns and hand sanitizer, Trudeau said at his daily press conference.

(READ: Canada pumps Can$200 billion into virus-stricken economy)

Deliveries of some parts could take a few weeks, he acknowledged.

“The entire world is trying to get its hands on the various equipment needed to fight this virus. That is why we know that it will be important to be able to have ‘made in Canada solutions’,” Trudeau said.

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