Canada sent 16 tonnes of medical equipment to China, now faces shortage

Canada's government is asking for products that can aid in the coronavirus pandemic following a large shipment of medical products and equipment to China.
Canada's government is asking for products that can aid in the coronavirus pandemic following a large shipment of medical products and equipment to China.

The government of Canada is asking for products and services that can be used to aid in the coronavirus pandemic on buyandsell.gc.ca. This follows a large shipment of medical products and equipment to China according to the Toronto Sun. Now Canadians may need China to return the favour.

On the main page of the website it says, “Are you a business that can supply products and services in support of Canada’s response to COVID-19? Canada wants to hear from you.”

Canadian Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Perrin Beatty posted a message to social media saying, “Are you a manufacturer who can retool to manufacture critical medical equipment? “If your answer is ‘yes’, the federal government wants to hear from you ASAP. The need for ventilators and N95 safety masks is particularly acute. Please contact celine.caira@canada.ca.”

Many businesses have used their operations to do what they can to help the country. One example is Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers in Ontario where they are bottling 65 percent alcohol for disinfecting.

According to Health Minister Patty Hadju, the country has a stockpile of medical equipment for emergencies such as this. She has not been very verbal about the amount of specific products we do have and how they will be deployed.

Italy seeing shortages of ventilators and have to decide which patients are most in need of the equipment. As the virus spreads in Canada, the country is doing everything it can to avoid a similar situation. But there are now doctors claiming that the health care system does not currently have the supplies we need to properly fight the growing number of cases. They are facing a shortage of equipment such as gloves for specialists and physicians and ventilators in ICUs.

Dr. Kulvinder Gill who is President of the Concerned Ontario Doctors voiced these concerns during a National Post Radio program on Wednesday. Gill pointed out that Canada recently gave China 16 tonnes of medical equipment.

Global Affairs Canada made an announcement on Feb. 9 saying: “To support China’s ongoing response to the outbreak, Canada has deployed approximately 16 tonnes of personal protective equipment, such as clothing, face shields, masks, goggles and gloves to the country since February 4, 2020.”

On Jan. 25 the first case of coronavirus was identified in Canada and by the time there were five confirmed cases Canada had started shipping the equipment.

China delivered equipment to Iran on Feb. 29 and on Wednesday, an announcement that China will be sending one million masks over to France was made. As the pandemic carries on in Canada, health workers may need similar shipments in order to properly handle the situation.