Auto parts companies in Canada will shift production to create medical supplies
Auto parts companies in Canada will shift production to create medical supplies in the coming weeks.
Speaking outside of Rideau Cottage on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed that the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association had reached out offering assistance.
"Our healthcare professionals really need support," Trudeau said, "so our government will help these companies shift production from auto parts to medical supplies."
As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, more and more of you are stepping up to help your neighbours. And across the country, businesses small and large are offering their services. So today, we launched an initiative to help them produce the things we need - quickly. ⤵️— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) March 20, 2020
Trudeau announced that the government will provide financial assistance to auto parts companies looking to produce medical supplies like ventilators, masks and hand sanitizer.
He added that the government is also close to reaching agreements with medical technology manufacturers such as Thornhill Medical, Medicom and Spartan Bioscience.
If you’re a company that’s already making medical supplies, we’ll help you scale up and increase your capacity. And if you’re a company that usually makes something else, we’ll help you buy new equipment so you can make things like masks, ventilators, and hand sanitizers.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) March 20, 2020
The news comes just days after the Big Three — Ford Motor, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler — announced that that they would be closing all North American factories.
Canadian doctors say hospitals are facing a shortage of supplies including ventilators, masks, gloves and gowns, adding that a "war-like effort" is needed to drastically increase production.
More than 60 doctors have joined forces to launch a petition calling on the government to mount “a war-like effort” to assist frontline healthcare workers fighting COVID-19, sounding the alarm on already critical shortages of supplies and equipment. https://t.co/l5orLfMNEW— Change.org Canada (@CdnChange) March 19, 2020
According to a national study following the H1N1 outbreak, Canada had approximately 5,000 ventilators in 2015. It’s unclear how many ventilators are available today, but studies suggest that Ontario could run out in as little as 16 days without government intervention.
Canada has put out an urgent call to all suppliers for masks, gowns, gloves, hand sanitizer and other medical supplies.
Health Canada is also taking steps to boost the country's supply of hand sanitizer and other medical supplies by temporarily relaxing medical licensing and packaging requirements.
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