Feds likely didn’t have enough protective gear in emergency stockpile: Hajdu

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OTTAWA — Health Minister Patty Hajdu says the federal government likely did not have enough protective equipment in its emergency stockpile to meet needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hajdu tells a news conference today that federal governments have been underfunding public-health preparedness for decades.

She says the government is working hard to procure scarce equipment at a time when officials around the world are doing the same.

The government says the Public Health Agency of Canada has released items from the National Emergency Strategic Stockpile in support of provincial and territorial COVID-19 response efforts.

This has included personal protective equipment such as surgical masks, gloves and N95 respirators, as well as other items such as disinfectant and hand sanitizer.

The government says it is working to enhance its own stockpile to support provincial requests or those from other federal partners who may also be in need of equipment.

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