The Manitoba government says they will spend $ 1.2 billion to fight the coronavirus and its variant over the next fiscal year.
Finance Minister Scott Fielding and Health Minister Heather Stefanson made the announcement Tuesday at Cadham Provincial Laboratory.
“We have budgeted additional amounts for the projected costs of protecting Manitobans, such as procuring more personal protective equipment and continuing to vaccinate across the province in the largest immunization campaign in Manitoba history,” Stefanson said.
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The bulk of the funding will go to the health care system, vaccine program, education support and PPE, Fielding said, with $ 300 million set aside for contingency plans.
Estimated amounts for this fiscal year include:
- $ 230 million for personal protective equipment (PPE), vaccine testing and infrastructure, contact tracking and other preparations as part of the provinces’ overall public health response;
- $ 350 million for additional costs of health care systems in preparation of a potential third wave COVID-19;
- $ 160 million to support school and education needs this year and next school year;
- $ 100 million for the vaccine program; AND
- $ 40 million for Manitoba Renewal Program capital initiatives at the municipal level.
So far, Manitoba has spent or pledged $ 3.2 billion to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, Fielding said.
During the press conference, instead of wanting a new pair of shoes, as is the tradition for finance ministers, Fielding introduced a pair of shoes to Chaturika Mesgun, who works at Cadham Provincial Laboratory.
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