Pressure mounts on Health Canada to approve rapid COVID testing devices
2020-09-15 from cbc.ca
With a sudden spike in cases prompting more people to get tested, Canadians are coping with hours-long lineups at COVID-19 testing centres across the country — and some medical experts are calling on Health Canada to approve new devices to deliver faster results.
Concerned parents and their children faced four-hour waits at Ottawa's primary testing facility on Monday. A similar scene greeted those looking for a test on Tuesday. At Toronto's William Osler drive-thru testing centre, residents were kept waiting for more than three hours.
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, said today that one approach to the crush of people looking for tests could be the deployment of rapid-testing devices. Seven months into this pandemic, these devices still are not available for use in Canada because Health Canada regulators haven't yet approved them.
"I totally agree with a number of comments from experts that we need to augment the portfolio of testing capabilities in Canada," Tam told a press conference.
"That's something we need to press hard at. The regulator at Health Canada has said it's prepared to work hard to get us tests that are accurate and reliable. I think people are just trying to be careful."
While she urged caution, Tam said that "right now, I think, is the time to really accelerate getting Canadians this capacity."
Read more here