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Feds send $120 million to help Indigenous communities in two provinces fight COVID-19

Last Updated Nov 20, 2020 at 11:19 am PDT

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. Coronaviruses, including the newest one, are named for the spikes that cover their outer surface like a crown, or corona in Latin. Using those club-shaped spikes, the virus latches on to the outer wall of a human cell, invades it and replicates, creating viruses to hijack more cells. (NIAID-RML via AP)

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa is providing $120 million in immediate funding for Indigenous communities suffering COVID-19 outbreaks in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Speaking to reporters outside his Rideau Cottage residence, Trudeau says the new money is for public health measures, food security and other surge capacity needs.

Trudeau says the funding will be sent to areas that are seeing concerning situations with rising COVID-19 cases.

There were 2,751 confirmed COVID-19 cases in First Nations communities on reserve as of Thursday, including 846 cases in Alberta and 697 in Saskatchewan, according to Indigenous Services Canada

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller and the department’s top doctor Tom Wong are expected to provide more details on the funding this afternoon.

Ottawa committed last week to providing more than $61 million to help Indigenous communities in Manitoba fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov 20, 2020.


This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press