Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement donates PPEs to Canada’s healthcare workers

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement is teaming up with Toronto’s Hong Kong community to secure and donate personal protective equipment for healthcare workers in Canada, as Canadian health authorities grapple with a PPE shortfall that’s putting medical workers and vulnerable Canadians at risk.

Hong-Kong-based pro-democracy medics group teamed up with Toronto’s Hong Kong community to donate thousands of N95 respirators, surgical masks, face shields, goggles, hand sanitizers, and alcohol pads as part of their PPE drive.

The group Torontonians Stand with Hong Kong is asking members to donate any PPEs in unopened boxes at Michael Garron Hospital, Sunnybrook Hospital or Peterborough Regional Health Centre.

“Hong Kong people experienced the SARS outbreak in 2003 and fully understand what Canadian healthworkers are currently facing as COVID-19 spreads rapidly,” the group said. “In the face of the current crisis, the Hong Kong community cannot sit back and ignore it.”

Last month, the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) and Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) issued a joint statement sounding the alarm about the imminent shortage of masks for healthcare workers, potentially putting the workers and the patients they take care of at risk.

“We must act now for all the eventualities, given the global shortage of supplies,” Dr. Doris Grinspun, RNAO’s CEO, said. “RNAO welcomes Premier Ford’s recent appeal to manufacturers to produce the essential gear to protect our health-care workers so they can be there to protect the public. We fear that a mask shortage is imminent. This is a serious and dire situation for our frontline workers. We must take every action possible to avoid, or at best, delay such an eventuality.”

The volunteer pro-democracy medics group was formed to help protestors who were tear gassed, beaten or shot at by the Hong Kong police during pro-democracy protests in the city.

The violent crackdown on the protests by Hong Kong police have led to thousands of injuries and two deaths.

Hong Kong authorities have faced international criticism for deliberately targeting the medics group at Beijing’s behest.