Premier Doug Ford said that Ontario has received 100,000 rapid COVID-19 tests, which are part of the first shipment for the province.
On Thursday, the premier said that the tests will be prioritized in rural and Northern Ontario as well as vulnerable populations in long-term care and congregate care settings.
“One hundred thousand is the first shipment, but I want to see millions of these coming to Ontario, and I don’t want to toot my own horn but I am going to. I have been pushing Health Canada [to approve the tests] like no one else in this entire country, and finally we are seeing results. I just need more kits from Abbott,” Ford said during the press briefing.
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Ford noted that if the virus spreads in rural or remote communities, especially for First Nations, they will be in “deep trouble up there.”
He said his government wants as many of the rapid tests “as we can get our hands on,” but given the limited numbers, they will deploy them to “high priority” areas for now.
“This is a game-changer. It is not everything, but it is a game-changer,” he said.
Last month Canada bought almost eight million rapid testing kits approved by Health Canada.
The technology can detect the virus directly from a nasal swab, returning results in between five and 13 minutes.
On October 21, Minister of Public Services & Procurement Anita Anand said Canada received it’s first shipment of 100,000. And that they are on track to receive 2.5 million of. the test by the end of the year.
Canada has received the first delivery of 100,000 Abbott ID NOW rapid tests, with more on the way. We are on track to receive 2.5 million of the ID NOW tests by year end, with first deliveries of the Abbott Panbio rapid antigen tests also arriving shortly.
— Anita Anand (@AnitaOakville) October 21, 2020