Manitoba

Manitoba offers ventilators, PPE to Ontario as hospitals overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients

Manitoba is calling on retired health-care workers to assist in Ontario hospitals overrun with COVID-19 patients, and will make some medical equipment available, Premier Brian Pallister announced on Monday.

Ontario's hospitalizations tops 2,200, with 755 in intensive care

Premier of Manitoba Brian Pallister says the province is ready to act to help Ontario, which is struggling to keep up with growing COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations. ( David Lipnowski/The Canadian Press)

Manitoba is calling on retired health-care workers to assist in Ontario hospitals overrun with COVID-19 patients, and will make some medical equipment available, Premier Brian Pallister announced on Monday.

"Manitoba has a long and proud record of doing our best to help our neighbours in times of need," Pallister said.

"We are in dialogue with the government of Ontario to see what additional equipment may be available to them."

Across the border, Ontario reported 4,447 cases of COVID-19 and 19 more deaths on Monday, while the number of people in hospital is 2,202. 

Of those, 755 are in intensive care units and 516 patients need a ventilator to breathe.

Pallister issued a call to action on Monday, inviting retired health-care officials — including nurses and those with intensive care experience — to assist in Ontario, adding that Manitoba will work with them to expedite their re-registration.

He added that Manitoba has a surplus of health-care equipment, including ventilators and a strong reserve of personal protective equipment that could come in handy if Ontario has need of it.

A nurse tends to a patient in the intensive care unit at Scarborough Health Network’s Centenary Hospital, in north-east Toronto, on Apr. 8. Across Ontario, there are 755 people in ICU and 516 patients need a ventilator to breathe. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

As of Monday, Manitoba has 132 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 30 people in intensive care. At the height of the second wave, on Dec. 4, 2020, Manitoba had 361 people in hospital, including 55 in ICU.

When asked about Manitoba's precarious health-care system, which could be impacted severely by more transmissible coronavirus variants of concern, Pallister said the province has taken "significant steps" to ensure the province's health-care system is well staffed and equipped.

"I don't think it's fair to disregard the needs of a neighbour at any time. I believe these are reasonable efforts that we're making to try to endeavour to help."

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