Ottawa preparing to deploy health workers, military and Red Cross to help in Manitoba

The federal government is deploying health workers, medical equipment and the military to Manitoba as COVID-19 overwhelms the province’s hospitals.

Manitoba has the highest new COVID-19 infection rate in North America currently, with more than 1,200 new cases confirmed over the recent long weekend.

More than a dozen critical patients have already been flown to Ontario for intensive care, some as far away as Ottawa, London and Windsor.

Winnipeg Liberal MP Jim Carr, cabinet’s special representative to the Prairies, says Ottawa is responding to requests for assistance from Manitoba.

Carr says the military is deploying to 23 First Nations to aid in vaccinations, epidemiologists and interviewers will help with contact tracing, and Ottawa is also preparing to send federal health care workers and potentially some from the Canadian Red Cross.

Carr says Manitoba has also asked for more personal protective gear as the province’s health care system “is reaching its limit.”