MARC Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, and Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, on Wednesday announced that Canada is sending up to 25,000 vials of the antiviral remdesivir (brand name Veklury) and up to 350 ventilators from its National Emergency Strategic Stockpile to help respond to the critical situation across India.
This support complements Canada’s work with its international partners to respond to needs caused by this pandemic and to help save lives. The government is also providing support through UNICEF’s response to the pandemic in India with the urgent provision of 1,450 oxygen concentrators. The funds for these operations come partly from the $230-million contribution to the therapeutics pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, announced last December.
This support is in addition to Canada’s $10-million support to the Canadian Red Cross Society, which is supporting the Indian Red Cross Society’s procurement of essential supplies and medicines.
The supplies identified for this donation will not compromise continued efforts of the COVID-19 response at home in Canada.
The Canadian Armed Forces will provide airlift support to transport these supplies to India.
Garneau said: “Canada continues to stand in solidarity with the people of India. We must all unite in this hour of need and work together in the global fight against this virus that is devastating lives across the globe.”
Sajjan said: “The COVID-19 pandemic is a global challenge and has reminded countries around the world that we are better off with each other’s help. That’s why the Canadian Armed Forces will support and transfer supplies to our friends in India to help defeat COVID-19. Throughout this pandemic and into the future, Canada will continue to be there for our allies in the Indo-Pacific region.”
Hajdu said: “After identifying the needs and requirements on the ground and how best Canada can assist, these requested medical supplies have been made available to help bring some relief to those affected by COVID-19 in India.”
Gould said: “If there was ever a time for countries to support one another, it is right now. Canadians have always showed solidarity in times of crisis, and by sending these supplies, we will be helping frontline workers carry out their life-saving work.”
- The Canadian Armed Forces deployed a CC-150 Polaris aircraft from 8 Wing / Canadian Forces Base Trenton on May 5 to deliver the vials of the antiviral remdesivir (brand name Veklury) and 50 ventilators that are ready for shipment to India at this time.
- Remdesivir (brand name Veklury) is used in the treatment of patients with severe symptoms of COVID-19. 25,000 vials is equivalent to more than 4,000 courses of treatment.