LifeSciences BC, an industry association supporting and representing the life science community of British Columbia, is coordinating an effort to identify biotech labs, companies, and manufacturers that can supply personal protective equipment (PPE) that is needed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A critical need has developed for medical supplies that are indispensable on the front line.”
The organization hopes to help identify, create, and collect medical equipment such as gloves, masks, protective eyewear, respirators, reagents, endotracheal tubing, and other items that can be made available on short notice. This initiative is aimed to dispense patient care treatment in the province quickly and without interruption.
LifeSciences BC is circulating two forms for businesses in BC, one for those needing supplies or equipment, and another for companies that have and can distribute supplies.
“As COVID-19 places a strain on urgent patient care and therapeutic treatments, a critical need has developed for medical supplies that are indispensable on the front line,” LifeSciences BC said in a statement.
The initiative targets entities with medical equipment, PPE, organizations that are able to manufacture critical care equipment that can be inventoried, picked up, and supplied to health authorities for use on the front line.
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LifeSciences BC’s initiative is in step with the federal government’s Plan to Mobilize Industry, announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on March 20. The federal plan is aimed directly to support businesses’ efforts in rapidly scaling up production or re-tooling their manufacturing lines to develop products made in Canada.
As part of its COVID-19 Action Plan, the BC Government announced $5 billion in income support, tax relief and direct funding for people, businesses and services.
The province gave itself the power to take over supply chains for essential goods and services and centralize procurement for critical supplies needed by healthcare providers. That decision also grants BC’s provincial government the ability to require retailers and suppliers to report their stock of critical supplies like protective health equipment.
As of March 29, there were more than 5,655 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 844 confirmed cases in BC. The province released its action plan, which earmarks $2.2 billion will provide relief to businesses and help them recover after the outbreak.
“It is our community’s commitment to create a supply chain that is a fluid and up-to-date inventory of medical source materials that could be provided rapidly to provincial hospitals, thereby providing a major solution to managing any shortages during the COVID-19 outbreak,” LifeSciences BC said.
Image source Unsplash. Photo by Artur Tumasjan.