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Feds boost efforts to secure medical gear supplies as COVID-19 cases multiply

BY , Mar 20, 2020 4:35 PM - REPORT AN ERROR

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question on a teleconference as reporters call in to ask questions during a news conference at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Thursday, March 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

The federal government is unveiling a plan to have companies quickly produce supplies of needed medical equipment to cope with the rapidly multiplying cases of COVID-19 across Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the plan will provide support to manufacturers that want to retool their assembly lines to build ventilators, masks and other personal protective gear.

And it will also help those already producing the products to quickly scale up.

Ottawa has been working in close collaboration with provinces and territories, who deliver health care, to determine where gaps exist in the system and to try to fill them before they become a significant problem.

Trudeau also says that the government is in discussions with airline to repatriate Canadians who are overseas, and the first flight will leave this weekend from Morocco.

Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand, and Industry Minister Navdeep Bains are to provide more details at a briefing this afternoon.

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