Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that companies across the country are now producing medical supplies, including hundreds of ventilators, as part of Canada’s battle to increase desperately needed equipment in the fight against COVID-19.

Since the federal government announced its strategy to tap into the private sector to produce medical supplies, Trudeau said the government has spoken directly with almost 3,000 Canadian companies that have offered their expertise and capacity to meet the country’s need for personal protective equipment (PPE).

“We are seeing the best of what it means to be Canadian,” Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa on Tuesday. “In tough times, we pull together. We are there for each other. We put our hands and ask: ‘How can I help?’”

READ MORE: Toronto hospitals begin rationing protective gear as COVID-19 crisis deepens

The federal government has signed three contracts with companies since March 20 to produce equipment like masks and rapid tests for the new coronavirus as part of the government’s $2-billion effort to buy PPE.

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Thornhill Medical, based in the Greater Toronto Area, is making 500 ventilators that will arrive at hospitals and health-care facilities in early April.

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