VICTORIA — Millions of respirator masks British Columbia purchased from a manufacturer in China have been given a stamp of approval by separate labs, making them available for health workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health Minister Adrian Dix says tests show the respirators exceed Health Canada requirements and they are the equivalent to the sought-after N95 masks made by 3M.
He says B.C. now has a stockpile of three million masks, putting the province in a good position to resume elective surgeries and prepare for a possible second wave of the virus.
Dix says the supply of the new respirators reduces B.C.'s reliance on traditional manufacturers of masks which were the subject of intense global procurement efforts.
He says the province is still looking to increase its supply of other personal protective equipment items, including surgical masks, gowns and gloves.
B.C. reported four new COVID-19 cases and there were no deaths.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on June 2, 2020.