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Manitoba Purchasing Protective Supplies for Potential Coronavirus Cases

March 10, 2020 4:54 PM | News

Face Mask Coronavirus

A man demonstrates how to put on a face mask and other protective clothing during a tour of a COVID-19 evaluation clinic in Montreal, Tuesday, March 10, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government and provincial health authorities are procuring protective equipment to prepare for the possibility of confirmed cases of coronavirus COVID-19 in the province.

While Manitoba has yet to see a confirmed case, Canada has 77 cases of COVID-19 and one confirmed death in British Columbia as of Tuesday.

“Our government, along with provinces and territories, is taking inventory of the personal protective equipment (PPE) currently in our jurisdiction, and planning for what would additionally be required in the event of an outbreak,” said Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen.

“Ensuring staff throughout the health system have access to the equipment and supplies required for safe patient care and their own personal protection is a priority.”

The projected cost to purchase additional personal protective equipment for front-line medical personnel and patients is estimated at $35.2 million.

The province currently has an adequate supply of PPE, but says the purchase will ensure the province is well-positioned to manage any additional demand on resources that would accompany potential or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba.

Existing supplies are being closely monitored and health authorities have been asked to ensure certain supplies, such as procedure/surgical masks and N95 respirators, are maintained and that providers and staff are aware of their appropriate clinical use.

“The government and public health officials are reminding Manitobans the risk of acquiring COVID-19 in Manitoba remains low, but is increasing given events occurring in Canada and around the world. We must continue to prepare for this virus in Manitoba,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer.