At an April 13 press conference, Ontario Premier Doug Ford discussed additional measures to help cope with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, with an announcement that the Ontario government has secured critical medical equipment and supplies to ensure the protection of patients, frontline health care workers and first responders.
Over the last five days, over 13 million surgical and procedural masks, 200,000 N95 respirator masks and 38 ventilators have been delivered to Ontario’s pandemic stockpile warehouses.
“The global competition to secure critical personal protective equipment and medical supplies is fierce, yet our team of procurement specialists continues to locate the masks, gloves and ventilators we need to keep our frontline workers and patients safe,” said Premier Doug Ford.
“I also want to take this opportunity to thank Premier Jason Kenney and the people of Alberta for making a generous donation of critical medical supplies and equipment in the fight against COVID-19. By standing united in adversity, Team Canada will stop this virus in its tracks.”
The province of Ontario is also providing same-day deliveries to hospitals, long-term care and retirement homes, as well as other facilities to support essential workers and ensure that supplies and equipment are sent to those who are most in need.
This past weekend, 6.5 million surgical and procedural masks were shipped to over 650 providers across Ontario to protect frontline workers, patients and residents.
“I am pleased to report that we continue making significant progress in securing the necessary personal protective equipment needed to effectively respond to COVID-19,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.
“Nothing is more important than protecting the health and safety of patients and the workers caring for them, as well as our first responders. We will continue working around the clock to add to the provincial stockpile to ensure that we are equipped to support those fighting this outbreak on the frontlines.”
The province of Ontario has been obtaining necessary supplies and personal protective equipment through its traditional suppliers and donations.
They have also been working in collaboration with the federal government, other provinces, and Ontario’s manufacturers.
On Saturday, April 11, 2020, the province of Alberta committed to sending Ontario 250,000 N95 masks, 2.5 million surgical masks, 15 million surgical gloves, 87,000 safety goggles and 50 ventilators.
Even though Ontario is making progress in obtaining these critical supplies and equipment, the global supply chain remains constrained.
Conservation of supplies and equipment, particularly personal protective equipment is crucial and the government is working to ensure those in priority areas and in urgent need are receiving these supplies.
In terms of testing, Ford says that we can expect to hit 8,000 tests by April 15, adding that they have “everything in place.”
When asked by reporters if the province can still expect students to return to school in May, Ford said that although they’re seeing a “glimmer of light,” they are continuing to take advice from the Chief Medical Officer and health team.
“There’s still much more to be done. As Canadians, we need to have each other’s backs,” said Ford.
“We always answer the call and we’re always ready to help. This pandemic is no exception.”