The cargo jet, which came from China, included 80,000 pounds of procedure masks, gowns and face shields for front-line workers to use through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For us in Alberta, we wanted to make sure we had all of the equipment that health-care workers need,” Alberta Minister of Municipal Affairs Kaycee Madu said from the tarmac.
Madu said the Alberta government and the Alberta Health Services procurement unit have been “actively searching for PPE around the world.” A spokesperson with AHS said the equipment will go into the AHS stockpile.
“This is one of so many planes that will arrive in Alberta to make sure that we have all of the tools and resources we need to overcome this pandemic,” Madu said.
“We will do everything we can to keep people completely safe and I think this is a typical example to Albertans that their government is prepared to do whatever it takes to keep them safe and to make sure that those of our citizens who happen to fall ill from COVID-19 have the best personal protective equipment to overcome this pandemic.”
The president and CEO of EIA said the work showcases the important work done at the airport, beyond passenger flights.
“It makes me feel really special because it’s just a big part of our airport,” Tom Ruth said.
“Passenger flights are substantially down right now but we’ve been planning strategically for logistics for a long time. And you see flights like this coming in and you realize how important it is to have these air pipelines that are connecting products for all these important reasons.”
On Saturday, Premier Jason Kenney announced Alberta is donating some of its supply of protective masks, gloves and ventilators to Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.
Kenney said Alberta has more than enough supplies of the equipment for its own COVID-19 needs.
“I for one as an Albertan and as a Canadian could not in conscience watch us stockpile massive amounts of surplus equipment while we see many of our fellow Canadians in some provinces within days of running out of some of these supplies,” Kenney told a media teleconference.
Jitendra Prasad, who is director of procurement at AHS, told the news conference that Albertans’ needs will still be met.
“I think it’s really a great honour that we are able to do this and I think it does demonstrate that Albertans will always stand with fellow Canadians coast to coast,” Prasad said.
AHS said it has sufficient numbers of PPE.
Kenney said the number of hospitalizations in the province are below numbers that had been predicted in models for this point, and he says that’s due to Albertans following public health guidelines.
With files from The Canadian Press.View link »