Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that 100,000 rapid test kits have arrived in Canada and it’s up to the provinces on how to best distribute them.
On Friday, Trudeau said that rapid tests have advantages and disadvantages and must be part of “a whole strategy to trace and control COVID-19.”
Trudeau said that his government needed to ensure that the tests got safely approved by Health Canada. Now that the first shipment has arrived, the federal government has started to distribute them to the provinces.
“They [provinces] will need to determine the best ways to use those tests. It’s ultimately up to the provinces,” he said.
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“There are strategies they need to explore to focus on the needs of certain areas in the best possible way. While we work with them to give them the best strategies there, it’s ultimately up to them.”
On Thursday, Premier Doug Ford said that Ontario has obtained 100,000 rapid tests which are part of the first shipment for the province.
Ford 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.
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,” Ford said.
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
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.