Canada’s government said on Monday it was ready to respond to a request for federal aid from Manitoba, the province hardest-hit by COVID-19 in recent weeks.
Ottawa pledged to provide “a package of support to Manitoba in anticipation of a request for federal assistance from the province to support the continued fight against the COVID-19 epidemic,” according to a press release.
The government said that Canadian Red Cross and CAF (Canadian Armed Forces) health human resources and medical personnel are available to Manitoba.
CAF will continue its mission to distribute vaccines to up to 23 indigenous communities in the province through the end of June. Statistics Canada will also provide 50 additional interviewers, for a total of 120 employees, to identify COVID-19 cases in the territory.
Epidemiologists, laboratory technicians and other specialists from the Public Health Agency of Canada can also be called in to help in Manitoba, which has the worst infection rate per million people in North America.
Since the start of the pandemic, the National Strategic Emergency Reserve has responded to 17 requests for federal assistance from Prairie County.