Coronavirus: Province asks Manitoba businesses to help manufacture supplies

Manitoba Health Minister Cameron Friesen says the province is “working hard” to ramp up health care services and is asking businesses to help out where they can with additional supplies.

“Supplies have already begun to flow into Manitoba but we need much more,” said Friesen.

“We are soliciting for help to collect the supplies we need in order to guard Manitobans against COVID-19.”

The province has spent about $64 million to buy “critical goods and services including personal protective equipment, ventilators, intravenous pumps and chest compression systems.”

Friesen also introduced an online portal, asking businesses to help with manufacturing products. It can be found at www.covid19manitoba.ca.

The products include:

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  • N95 respirators
  • surgical/procedure masks
  • nitrile gloves
  • vinyl gloves
  • nasopharyngeal swabs
  • specific types of reagent used in labs
  • gowns
  • hand sanitizer
  • cleaning supplies
  • disinfecting supplies

“We want to be clear on this. We’re not out of supplies. we’re doing this out of an abundance of caution,” said Friesen.

Some businesses have already done this, including a local brewery that is making hand santizier, and Canada Goose has started to manufacture supplies.

They’re also asking for services help:

  • guard/security services,
  • nursing services,
  • food services,
  • laundry services,
  • accommodation maintenance services,
  • personal services,
  • IT support services,
  • pet care services,
  • transportation services, and
  • consulting services.

Manitoba currently sits at 35 cases after 14 additional probable cases were identified Wednesday. On Tuesday, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister instituted a rent freeze and put a halt on non-urgent evictions.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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