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“We are much better prepared than before,” she said.
In March, Canadians watched in horror as the COVID-19 epidemic in northern Italy swept through its healthcare system, leaving doctors to choose which patients had ventilators and which did not. not. This experience, coupled with warnings that it could occur here as well, forced the federal and provincial governments to order thousands of new ventilators.
But just like surgical masks and N95 respirators, Canada did not already produce many ventilators domestically, and obtaining them from international sources is difficult when the global need for new ventilators is in the hundreds of thousands. So Canada asked the companies here if they could scale up their activities, and from these four new consortia to build fans were formed.
A fifth contract was signed with Thornhill Medical, a Toronto-based company that was then manufacturing about 50 of its portable respirators per month.
In all, Canada ordered 40,328 ventilators, worth an estimated $ 1.1 billion, and as of Friday it only had 606 on hand.
Paul-Emile Cloutier, chairman of national healthcare advocate HealthCareCAN, said the state of government orders for personal protective equipment and ventilators was concerned about the possibility of COVID-19 breaking into Canada again. this autumn.
“Details are crucial as we prepare for the next expected wave of COVID-19,” he said.
Supply Minister Anita Anand said on Friday the government was working to put all orders in place. A statement from his department said “Canada currently has enough ventilators to meet current demand” and those ordered are to bolster existing stocks at the Public Health Agency of Canada, as well as units already in operation. provincial hospitals and warehouses across the country.