Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to give an update today on Canada’s efforts to secure ventilators — a critical piece of equipment in the battle against COVID-19.
Canada, and other countries, have been jostling behind the scenes to avoid a situation like Italy, where doctors have been forced to make grim decisions about which patients to save because there aren’t enough breathing machines to help all of its critically ill patients.
Trudeau’s announcement on ventilators comes on the heels of a victory in the global fight for medical supplies and personal protective equipment.
On Monday, 3M announced it had struck a deal with the U.S. government to allow the export of N95 respirator masks to Canada. The deal came after Canadian officials worked over the weekend to reverse the decision by the United States to invoke the Defense Production Act to force the Minnesota-based company to prioritize orders from the U.S. government for N95 respirators at the expense of foreign orders.
However, it remains unclear what this deal means for exports of other critically needed equipment, such as gowns, gloves and ventilators.
Last week, Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand said the Canadian government ordered close to 1,570 ventilators and was looking to secure thousands more.
Data compiled by CBC News/Radio-Canada suggests that Canada has 7,752 total ventilators across all provinces.