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

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

Elsie Hellstrom (top left), Mary Gjernes (top right), Stan Moore (bottom left) and Evelina Walter all celebrated their birthdays this month. All photos courtesy of Brittany Siemens.
Mission seniors residence celebrates 4 centenarian birthdays this month

Special party honouring a combined 405 years of life held on Jan. 25

A Chilliwack driver’s vehicle was impounded for seven days after an excessive speeding violation. (RCMP photo)
RCMP catch Chilliwack driver doing 60 km/h over posted speed limit

The motorist was hit with a big ticket and a seven day vehicle impoundment

Abbotsford Police is investigating after bullet casings were found following a shots fired call at the intersection of Purcell Avenue and Wells Gray Avenue on Tuesday night. (File photo)
Bullet casings found after shots-fired call in Abbotsford on Tuesday

Abbotsford Police Department seeking witnesses and CCTV footage following shooting

UFV assistant kinesiology professor Dr. Iris Lesser exercises along Chilliwack's Vedder Rotary Trail with her daughter Kaia. (UFV photo)
UFV study finds women with reduced physical activity had more mental health struggles during COVID pandemic

The study suggested women suffered more than men as gyms, parks and playgrounds shut down

Hatzic Middle school has had the most COVID-19 exposures in the district. File photo.
COVID-19 exposure at Hatzic Middle

Exposure occurred on Jan. 19

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

BC Place Stadium in a photo posted to cisc-icca.ca.
Roof of BC Place a stage for performers during online music festival

‘This will be the first time any artists have performed from the 204-foot iconic Vancouver rooftop’

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Driver crashes vehicle twice in one day near Princeton

Abbotsford woman, 29, wasn’t injured in either incident

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Most Read