Canada Feds likely didn't have enough protective gear in emergency stockpile: Hajdu
Hospital holds mask drive as groups sound alarm over impending shortage
TORONTO — A Toronto hospital is accepting donations of face masks and other protective gear from members of the public in an effort to ward off what some say is an impending shortage. The Personal Protective Equipment Drive at Michael Garron Hospital comes a day after two Ontario medical associations sounded the alarm about the supply of N95 and surgical masks. The Ontario Medical Association and the Registered Nurses' Association of OntarioThe Personal Protective Equipment Drive at Michael Garron Hospital comes a day after two Ontario medical associations sounded the alarm about the supply of N95 and surgical masks.
OTTAWA — Health Minister Patty Hajdu says the federal government likely did not have enough protective equipment in its emergency stockpile to meet needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hajdu tells a news conference today that federal governments have been underfunding public-health preparedness for decades.
She says the government is working hard to procure scarce equipment at a time when officials around the world are doing the same.
Chris Selley: Ottawa can't beat COVID-19 alone, and it's doing a questionable job trying
On Wednesday in the Senate, Health Minister Patty Hajdu announced that, as of 12:01 a.m. Thursday, the recommendation that people arriving in Canada from abroad self-isolate for 14 days would become a legal requirement under the federal Quarantine Act. The question immediately on many lips was: “Why only now?” Curtailing civil liberties should never be taken lightly, but it deserves answering. It has been very clear for many days that not enough people are doing the things the federal and provincial governments are imploring them to do. We have seen images of crowded public parks and sidewalks: Vancouver, we’re looking disapprovingly in your direction.
The government says the Public Health Agency of Canada has released items from the National Emergency Strategic Stockpile in support of provincial and territorial COVID-19 response efforts.
This has included personal protective equipment such as surgical masks, gloves and N95 respirators, as well as other items such as disinfectant and hand sanitizer.
The government says it is working to enhance its own stockpile to support provincial requests or those from other federal partners who may also be in need of equipment.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 1, 2020.
The Canadian Press
The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada .
The latest news on the COVID-19 global pandemic (all times Eastern): 8:10 a.m. Canada Goose Holdings Inc. is moving to increase its domestic production of personal protective equipment for health-care workers across Canada. The company, best known for its luxury winter parkas, announced plans last month to start production of medical gear at two Canadian factories. It now says it will begin to reopen its other Canadian facilities over the next two weeks to bring all eight of its locations into production. It says at full capacity as many as 900 employees will be working to support the efforts. 7:50 a.m.