Ontario announced an increase in medical supplies for healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 13 million surgical masks delivered to the province over the last five days.
On Monday, Premier Doug Ford said in addition to the 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,” Ford said.
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Ontario is also providing same-day deliveries to hospitals, long-term care and retirement homes, and other facilities to support essential workers in all settings and ensuring supplies and equipment are expedited to those most in need.
This includes shipments this past weekend of 6.5 million surgical and procedural masks to over 650 providers across the province.
“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,” Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health said.
“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.”
On Saturday, Alberta committed to send Ontario 250,000 N95 masks, 2.5 million surgical masks, 15 million surgical gloves, 87,000 safety goggles, and 50 ventilators.
“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,” Ford said.
According to the province, while Ontario is making progress in procuring critical supplies and equipment, the global supply chain remains “constrained.”
Conservation of supplies and equipment, particularly personal protective equipment is the main focus with the government working to ensure those in priority areas and in urgent need are receiving the supplies they need.
“Our frontline heroes have our backs and we must have theirs,” Ford said during the press conference. “This is something I’ve been laser focused on.”
“We always answer the call, we’re always ready to help and this pandemic is no exception.”
On Saturday, Ford announced the province has purchased $90 million worth of much-needed medical supplies from local businesses that have converted their facilities to produce personal protective equipment.
Ford said more than 14,000 businesses submitted applications to the Ontario Together portal that asks citizens and businesses to donate or produce supplies to help stop the spread of the virus.
The $50 million Ontario Together Fund was also created to help businesses provide innovative solutions to manufacture essential medical supplies and equipment, including gowns, coveralls, masks, face shields, testing equipment, and ventilators.