MOSCOW, October 7 (RIA Novosti) - The Canadian government will send 300,000 personal protective equipment (PPE), or face shields, to West Africa to combat the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, the country's Public Health Agency said in a news release.
The first batch of 128,000 face shields left Trenton, Ontario on a Department of National Defense Hercules Aircraft on Monday at 8:00 a.m. local time (12:00 GMT) bound for Freetown, Sierra Leone, the news release stated Monday. The next shipment will be sent within the next week.
The shipments are a response to the World Health Organization's (WHO) urgent request for the masks for healthcare workers treating patients with the deadly disease in Ebola-hit countries.
The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) is sending the supplies on behalf of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).
Canada has already contributed funds, expertise, and equipment to the countries battling the disease in addition to two teams of medical experts and a mobile lab in Sierra Leone.
Ebola is a severe hemorrhagic virus which is plaguing West African countries including Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal. A separate outbreak in the republic of Congo has also been reported.
According to WHO, some 7,470 cases of the disease have been already reported, with some 3,431 Ebola-related deaths. There is currently no approved cure for the virus though several countries including Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan, are working on vaccines.