NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont visited the state’s PPE commodities warehouse in New Britain on Tuesday.
The facility is under military lock and key because the contents inside are like “gold.” Lamont said having adequate PPE was one requirement need to reopen the state on May 20.
A large shipment of PPE came in from China over the weekend and it will be broken down and distributed to frontline workers. It has also been said that the epicenter of this virus is inside our nursing homes.
The shipment included six million surgical masks, 500,000 protective masks, 100,000 surgical gowns, and 100,000 temporal thermometers.
Lamont said it was the biggest shipment received so far. It is enough to fill nearly two football fields.
“Today marks another important step as we continue to battle the novel coronavirus,” Governor Lamont said in a release. “I want to personally thank the Chinese people for their continued support during this public health crisis. I would especially like to thank the China Construction Bank for helping facilitate this shipment and for their generous donation. Further cooperation and collaboration between the United States and China is very important as we navigate this global pandemic.”
“What they’ve done in a matter of weeks is created an Amazon for PPE equipment,” added Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysewicz.
Officials said it took two months of working connections in China and fighting red tape to get the equipment here. Lamont assured reporters during an afternoon news conference that the PPE the state received would work and was safe.
“We worked with the highest levels in China and over on this side, so I think we know with a high degree of reliability who we’re buying from and the quality controls involved,” he said.
Lamont said it all the work was well worth it.
“Now we have got some security, now we’ve got some inventory and we can give people confidence.”
The governor said soldiers will divide and deliver PPE shipments that will go to nursing homes that need them the most.
“This is a war, and you are making sure that our healthcare warriors have what they need,” Bysewicz said.
Connecticut’s supply and demand for PPE are starting to level out.
The state also received a large shipment of key medication. The State Department of Public Health distributed its first shipment of the Remdesivir to hospitals across Connecticut. The state received 1,200 doses of that drug, which was recently approved for use for Coronavirus patients.
“They gave us some good news that the remdesivir which is a therapeutic that can greatly reduce the harm cause by COVID reduce time in the intensive care unit, went right to our hospitals,” Gov. Lamont.
Since May 11, the state has delivered a total over 15 million pieces of PPE to front line workers. Officials are still looking for more, especially as the state slowly reopens.
Small businesses can find PPE by visiting the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development website.