More than 11 million face masks have arrived in Canada in recent days, including a shipment of one million masks that arrived at a Hamilton warehouse overnight, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today.
He said workers are trying to quickly assess that they meet the needed standards, and that 10 million masks are already being distributed to provinces and territories.
He also said the government has ordered hundreds of thousands of face shields from Bauer, the company that normally makes hockey equipment.
Trudeau also commented on international competition for masks and other personal protective equipment.
“We need to make sure that equipment that is destined for Canada gets to and stays in Canada,” he said, noting that’s a concern the government is working to address.
Health-care workers in some areas have expressed concern over the supply of personal protective equipment amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, and have said some hospitals are rationing supplies in order to conserve resources.
Ottawa is leading a bulk purchasing program for personal protective equipment in an effort to prevent health-care workers from contracting COVID-19.
Health Minister Patty Hajdu said Ottawa is working on an allocation formula with the provinces that balances population as well as need.
“At the end of the day what we would like to see, and what we’re getting to, is a consensus from all provinces and territories that the formula meets their needs and that they are comfortable with that formula.”
–With files from Global News