WORLD Canada recruiting volunteers to fight COVID-19

WORLD

Canada recruiting volunteers to fight COVID-19

Xinhua

04:08, April 06, 2020

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(Photo: Xinhua)

TORONTO, April 5 (Xinhua) -- The Canadian government is recruiting volunteers to support frontline healthcare workers to combat the COVID-19 crisis.

"For those of you with specialized skills looking to help our frontline workers, we do want to hear from you," said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at his daily press conference on COVID-19 Sunday morning at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, where he has been self-isolating even after his wife announced recovery from the COVID-19 illness last week.

Trudeau said that Health Canada will be building "an inventory of specialized work volunteers" that provinces and territories can draw on and that some of the work may include tracking COVID-19 cases and tracing contacts.

Meanwhile, he said that reservists in the Canadian Armed Forces will be offered full-time jobs over the coming months, with the same pay and benefits as regular enlisted members.

"Bolstering the military's ranks will help offset some of the economic consequences of COVID-19 and ensure that our communities are well-supported," Trudeau said.

Volunteer applications will be open until at least April 24, while reservists across the country are going to be contacted directly by Trudeau government.

Trudeau also said his government is considering measures to encourage students to take up summer jobs in the agriculture and fishing sectors that are normally filled by temporary foreign workers.

Trudeau added that his government officials are working day and night to secure additional, desperately needed personal protective equipment for frontline healthcare workers.

On Saturday, Trudeau announced millions of medical masks would be arriving in Canada from China within 48 hours and he would not take retaliatory measures one day after US President Donald Trump banned exports of American-made N95 masks to other countries, including Canada.

Trudeau said Canada has leased a warehouse in China to collect and distribute additional medical supplies "as quickly as possible."

The number of COVID-19 cases is rising in Canada. As of 1 p.m. Sunday Canada Eastern Time, there were 14,469 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 258 deaths in the country, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

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