Mask suppliers say they have PPE available -- and not at inflated prices
Canadian company Irwin Toy is now supplying medical masks amid the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s joined by other suppliers hoping to provide personal protective equipment at reasonable cost.
SHARETORONTO -- Ten days ago, Irwin Toy made a dramatic and urgent shift. Instead of just selling dolls and trucks, the Canadian company now sells medical-grade masks and makes between 250,000 and 500,000 a day.“We have sold masks to ... hospitals in the U.S.A. and Caribbean -- over 400,000 masks in Ontario and a total of 1.5 million to date,” said George Irwin, president of the company, in an interview from his home in Collingwood, Ont.
His company was one of more than half a dozen that contacted CTV News,after our story Sunday night about long-term care homes in need of masks and personal protective equipment(PPE) getting pitches from new suppliers with staggeringly high prices --some products priced between 700 per cent and 5,000 per cent above normal costs. Surgical masks normally 58 cents were being sold for $6, and N95 masks priced as high as $17.52.
Irwin says his company offers surgical masks for 58 cents and N95 masks at US$2.90, but adds that prices change quickly.“We are working 24/7 to keep prices in line,” said Irwin.Newsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inboxAcross Canada, hospitals, medical clinics other health services are clamouring for the tools that will protect health-care workers and save lives. But everything is in short supply, and hospital and nursing home stocks are dwindling.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford has warned that his province is running low on PPE, and other provinces like Newfoundland and Labrador are asking for help with their dwindling supplies. One shipment of 500,000 masks is making its way from the U.S and “will help for another week,” he said.
However, Irwin says he made calls to the Ontario government offering to supply more hospitals -- but says never heard back.Another Burlington, Ont.-based mask supplier,eSafetyProducts.com, responded to our story on excessive pricing and said costs are going up for a variety of reasons. Among them, it listed high demand and low supply, higher raw material costs, and shipping by air to save time at a higher cost. What’s more, the company’s inventory was drained early January by a rush of purchases.
“Chinese individuals and companies in Canada were frantically buying up all the N95 masks they could get their hands on,” said owner Robert Bortoluzzi. “They were running around like worker bees buying and shipping back to China, ironically where the masks are made. They basically obliterated the supply, this along with regular supply chain purchasing has left most large suppliers with no stock and no answer as to when more are coming.”
Bortoluzzi says he has secured has supplies of N95 and KN95 masks, as well as gowns and gloves, but says despite market upheaval he plans to keep prices reasonable.“We are selling at a fair price in order to help as many people as we can,” said Bortoluzzi. His company reached out to his local MP and applied to Health Canada, one of many hundreds of medical supply vendors.
Another Canadian firm,Momentum Solutions, emailed CTV News after the long-term care story, offering personal protective equipment at a reasonable cost.CEO Stephen Arbib says his firm is supplying only large orders for between 20,000 and 20 million masks -- sourcing some from China and others from 3M plants in Hungary, Turkey and Mexico.
Governments usually have lists of pre-approved companies that have applied for and passed contract conditions and safety regulations. Many mask makers not on the list have applied to become suppliers during the pandemic, with indications the federal government is willing to fast-track approvals. But some report it's taking weeks to hear back from officials.
As for Irwin, hospitals are now contacting him directly for mask supplies, which his son in China oversees for safety and quality.“We've been delivering toys to kids for 90-some-odd years and one thing we know is you want to sell and make sure that you deliver a toy that doesn't hurt anybody, and we've taken that same approach with masks,” he said.
Why are they shipping masks to the states? Try 10 cent a mask What about?👇 NEWS WE COULD USE.... Well send it to the hospitals then, the first responders come first. Paramedics and hospital staff first. You can order them on line for 0.50 a piece and 5 dollars delivery...but you'll get them in one month....
This busiyneeds an investigation. For regular people... Sorry if I've double posted
3M Strikes Deal With Trump Administration To Continue Mask ExportsThe Minnesota-based company supplies respirators to the U.S., Canada and Latin America. Of course U.S. will send supplies to Canada cause Canada threatened not to send them the paper (only made in Canada) to enable 3M to make the masks. No masks for us then no supplies for 3M to make them. Shouldn't have come to this. Should be there for each other. More Trump B.S. Of course he backed off when called out on it. LOL
When And Why Should You Wear A Face Mask In Public?If you have to go out, wearing a non-medical mask can help protect the people around you. COVID-19 I have tried practicing at home with a mask. It does not take long for claustrophobia to rear its ugly head and make me start gagging and gasping for air. I will persevere because I need to go get some groceries early next week If this is presumed to slow the spread, then politicians should order it. Everyone must wear a mask when out. COVID19 🦠
3 Ways To Make Your Own Face Mask At HomeMasks that can protect those around you from COVID-19 can be made with no sewing required.
Tam offers new advice: wear a non-medical mask when shopping or using public transitThe country’s Chief Public Health Officer said this measure is now being advised to help cut down on transmission where people are infected by the virus but are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic Sign the petition for CPHO_Canada to resign as chief health minister for gross incompetence drtamresign PlankTheCurve cdnpoli standonguard covid19Canada JustinTrudeau Wow! This is so annoying. I was actually happy that Canada was taking this another way but turns out we were wrong all along. So with all the people losing their jobs, why does she have hers still? Is she sure?
Advice on masks is changing as coronavirus knowledge evolvesCanadian public-health officials are now saying that wearing a mask in public is a good idea to help prevent the spread of coronavirus – or at least not a bad idea Just like telfordk would gave written it.. You missed 'This just in from liberal_party HQ' The rest of the world outside of the Liberal bubble and their media lapdogs has known this for a while. The knowledge itself hasn’t changed. The position of these officials have because this is getting out of hand now. Too bad that they are two months late. Now with social distancing, we shouldn’t need a mask too often. I just hope frontline workers will get what they need.
Coronavirus Update: British PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worsenEmergency benefit to be expanded to cover more part-time workers, Trudeau says; Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer says wear a non-medical mask when shopping or using public transit So did they have a ventilator reserved for him while someone died? Or did someone have their ventilator taken away? Get well soon, Borris! ❤️🇨🇦🇬🇧 Posted By Demian Hammock