Canada signs agreement with Amazon Canada to distribute medical equipment


OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada has signed an agreement with Amazon Canada (AMZN.O) to ensure medical equipment is delivered where it is most needed in the country’s fight against the cornonavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday.

The Canadian government has been working with manufacturers in recent weeks to increase production of high-demand medical items like face shields, masks, gloves, ventilators, gowns and test kits to assist healthcare workers on the frontlines.

“Our government has signed an agreement with Amazon Canada to manage the distribution of this equipment to the provinces and territories,” Trudeau told reporters during a daily news briefing outside his Ottawa home.

Trudeau did not provide details on the value of the contract.

As of Friday, Canada had 11,747 cases of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by coronavirus, and 152 Canadians had died, according to public health agency data.

Amazon, said Trudeau speaking in French, “will use it’s large distribution network to ensure the delivery of medical equipment where we have the greatest needs.”

Reporting by Kelsey Johnson in Ottawa; Editing by Tom Brown