The Legault government does not intend to use in the short term the 1.3 million rapid screening tests for COVID-19 that Quebec has received.
• Read also: All developments in the COVID-19 pandemic
“At the moment, we don’t need it,” Minister Christian Dubé said on Monday.
So far, only 6,500 of these tests which detect the virus in less than 15 minutes have been used, mainly in the Capitale-Nationale, Chaudière-Appalaches, Montreal and Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean.
Screening is doing well in Quebec and the use of rapid tests to massively diagnose COVID-19 in schools and workplaces is not necessary at this stage, insisted the Minister of Health.
“There is no shortage of tests and, at the moment, we are able to respond quickly to those who are tested, it’s not like at the beginning when we had issues of timing,” he said. – he argues, in a press conference on the state of spread of the virus.
Rapid screening devices are a little less sensitive than laboratory testing. “We will not replace tests that go well within very correct timeframes by tests that do not have the same reliability,” added Christian Dubé.
- Listen to the interview with the leader of the official opposition Dominique Anglade on QUB radio:
Approved by Health Canada
Note that Quebec has received three types of rapid tests, a nucleic acid amplification test called ID NOW and two antigenic tests, Panbio and BD Veritor.
In total, the Legault government has so far put away more than 1.3 million of these rapid tests, yet approved by Health Canada.
And that’s just the beginning. Another shipment of over 1.1 million of these screening devices is on its way to Quebec.
The reluctance of the Caquista government to use these additional tools to fight the pandemic does not please the federal government.
In the National Assembly, the official opposition is questioning the government’s strategy.
The Liberals are calling for rapid tests to be used to screen the roughly 600,000 elementary school children who are back in school, as well as workers in industries that remain open.
“It is unreal to think that the curfew is one of the only solutions to curb the transmission of COVID-19 in Quebec”, argued the head of the PLQ, Dominique Anglade.