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Canada not ready for second wave of COVID-19, Senate committee says

A new report from a committee of senators says the country is ill-prepared to handle a second wave of COVID-19. The Senate of Canada building and Senate Chamber are pictured in Ottawa on Monday, Feb. 18, 2019. CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA — A new report from a committee of senators says the country is ill-prepared to handle a second wave of COVID-19.

The Senate’s social affairs committee says the federal government needs to pay urgent attention to seniors in long-term care homes where outbreaks and deaths in the pandemic have been concentrated.

There are also concerns in the report about the vulnerability of low-income seniors should there be a second wave of the novel coronavirus later this year.

The document made public this morning is the committee’s first set of observations on the government’s response to the pandemic, with a final report expected later this year.

Senators on the committee say the national emergency stockpile of personal protective gear like masks, gowns and gloves, wasn’t managed well over the years, nor sufficiently stocked when the pandemic struck the country in March.

Committee members add concerns that military members could be deployed without sufficient personal protective equipment because of “inconsistencies from international procurement.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 9, 2020.

The Canadian Press