Tuesday , January 12 2021

COVID-19 Screening: 1.3 Million Unused Rapid Tests

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

• Read also: COVID-19: an increase in cases to be expected with the return to class

“At the moment, we don’t need it,” Minister Christian Dubé said on Monday.

We see here Panbio rapid test devices, also sent to Quebec.

File photo, AFP

We see here Panbio rapid test devices, also sent to Quebec.

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.

The same goes for the BD Veritor rapid test from BD Diagnostics.


The same goes for the BD Veritor rapid test from BD Diagnostics.

“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:

The Journal is looking for testimonials from people who have been carriers of COVID-19 without knowing it and who have seen those around them fall ill when they themselves had no symptoms. Since the start of the pandemic, many asymptomatic people have infected those around them without knowing it. This has happened in particular in CHSLDs and sports circles. We would love to hear from you if you have experienced such a situation.

You can write to our journalist Simon Baillargeon (simon.baillargeon@quebecormedia.com)

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.


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