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Military deployed to Manitoba to help province hard hit by COVID-19 infections

Last Updated May 27, 2021 at 12:02 pm PDT

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister leaves the convention centre after getting a COVID-19 vaccination from Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, in Winnipeg, Thursday, April 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Members of the military are being deployed to Manitoba where surging COVID-19 cases have overwhelmed the health-care system while all provinces are being urged to use up doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine before they expire.

Premier Brian Pallister requested the help last week as Manitoba posted the highest daily case numbers, per capita, in the country.

The province’s intensive-care units are so full, 23 critical patients have been transferred to Ontario.

The Canadian Armed Forces members will start a four-week mission Friday and it will include critical care nurses and lab technicians.

Meanwhile, federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu has written to provincial and territorial leaders encouraging them not to waste thousands of doses of AstraZeneca vaccine that are due to expire in a few days.

She has offered federal support to help transfer doses between provinces to ensure they are not wasted.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 27, 2021.

The Canadian Press