A Fraser Health healthcare workers are seen at a drive through COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., Monday, April 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

The country is ordering up to 30,000 ventilators from several Canadian companies, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during a press conference in Ottawa Tuesday (April 7).

Those ventilators come after the country asked domestic companies to switch over to manufacturing medical supplies, with a promise that the government will purchase them. Trudeau said nearly 5,000 companies have reached out to help with making medical gowns, masks and gloves.

The prime minister said the new ventilators will be ready “in the coming weeks” but nobody was more specific about when.

In late March, it was estimated that Canada had around 5,000 ventilators already across the country.

At a later press conference, Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand said 16 million of the surgical masks the federal government ordered have already been delivered, and that 2.3 million of the N95 masks ordered will be in Canada by the end of the week.

Canada’s chief medical officer Dr. Theresa Tam said 6000 ventilators have already been purchased in recent days.

Federal officials also said more than 230 million surgical masks and 75 million N95 respirator masks have been ordered but cautioned the global supply chain is so fragile they cannot guarantee how many of those will actually arrive, although an 11th-hour agreement between 3M and the White House has secured a 500,000 shipment of N95 masks. The shipment is delayed until Wednesday after President Donald Trump ordered the company to stop exporting critical equipment needed in the U.S.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said the agreement represented the usually “reciprocal and balanced relationship” between the two countries.

Trudeau said eight million surgical masks arrived from China Monday, as the country seeks to keep its supply up amid the pandemic. As of Tuesday morning, 17,063 people had tested positive for COVID-19 in Canada, and the virus had led to 345 deaths. Tam said more than 346,000 people had been tested and about five per cent turned out positive for the novel coronavirus.

Unemployment, emergency benefit claims skyrocket

President of the Treasury Board and MP Jean-Yves Duclos said 966,000 people had applied for the Canada Emergency Response benefit on Monday, on the day it rolled out – as many as would usually apply for EI in six months.

The $2,000 per month payment is for workers who have lost their jobs and income due to the pandemic.

Duclos said 3.6 million people had applied for benefits overall since March 16 and that three million of those had been processed. Emergency benefits are expected to be in some Canadians’ bank accounts by the end of this week.

READ MORE: As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

READ MORE: N95 masks on the way for Canada after 3M reaches deal with White House

READ MORE: Recovery rate tops 60% but B.C. records death of man in his 40s due to COVID-19


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CanadaCoronavirusJustin Trudeau

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo RCMP seek owner of bike recovered in downtown area

Grey Cannondale road bike found on Wesley Street in Nanaimo on May 23

Proposed $2.5-million renovation at Dover Bay secondary would increase school’s capacity

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools to submit draft concept plan to Ministry of Education by Aug. 1

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: No government interested in paying for rail right now

Rail advocates are ignoring the basic problem of affordability, says letter writer

Nanaimo Art Gallery announces new executive director

Former Prince George gallery director Carolyn Holmes to take on role

School district reveals restart plans for Nanaimo-Ladysmith

K-5 students will see two days of instruction a week, 6-12 students once a week

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

COVID-19 cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a B.C. mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Yukon ready to lift COVID travel restrictions with B.C. in July: premier

Premier Sandy Silver says the territory’s health-care system can cope with the virus.

Most Read