Canada says US blocked delivery of three million masks News | Instant News

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The prime minister of Ontario, CanadaIts largest province, on Monday, said the United States had blocked shipments of three million face masks designed to help fight coronavirus outbreak.

Doug Ford told Global News the incident happened over the weekend and described it as “absolutely unacceptable”. He also said the province’s stock of personal protective equipment would run out within a week.

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US allies are complaining about what they call the “Wild West” tactic of beating or blocking shipments to buyers who have signed an agreement for medical equipment.

US president Donald Trump has asked manufacturing company 3M Co. to stop exporting respirator masks produced domestically to Canada and several Latin American countries.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau avoided reporters’ questions about the incident on Monday, said his government was in productive talks with the US and added: “We expect the shipment to be sent.”

Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters that Ottawa was aware of “some difficulties” sending masks across the border and would do everything possible to help.

“We are working intensively with the United States to ensure that all masks that have been purchased can be exported to Canada,” he said when asked about Ford’s complaints.

“We have had a positive conversation and we are continuing to work to resolve this problem,” he added.

The US Embassy in Ottawa was not immediately available for comment.

Separately, Canadian medical health officials said the number of deaths had risen to 293 from 258 on Sunday. The number of positive cases is now 15,822, up from 14,426.

SOURCE:
Reuters news agency



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