#HealthCanada; #1stRapidAntigenCOVID19Test; #PointOfCareTest; #AbbotLaboratories
Ottawa, Oct 07 (Canadian-Media): Another rapid COVID-19 test, the first antigen device, was approved Oct 6 by Health Canada regulators for use in Canada as a "point-of-care" test, meaning it can be used by trained professionals in pharmacies, walk-in clinics or doctors' offices, Health Canada reports said.
Image:Abbot Laboratories Image credit: Wikipedia
Being permitted sell and distribute the Panbio COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test Device, U.S.-based Abbott Laboratories' device can produce results in less than 20 minutes.
The federal government has signed an agreement to buy more than 20.5 million of these tests in the coming weeks, which would be deployed to COVID-19 hotspots as demand for testing spikes and caseloads grow, Federal Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand said Oct 7 and added,
"Cases are on the rise and testing and tracing is more important than ever."
Anand said the antigen tests are not designed to supplant the lab-based testing options currently in use across the country.
"The strategy in terms of our procurements is not to replace the standardized testing model but to enhance the capacity of provinces and territories to keep up with the increasing demand for tests. Our strategy is one of diversification across various testing types and models," Anand said, adding that the government has purchased enough swabs and reagent to conduct 200,000 conventional molecular tests per day for the remainder of the year.
8.5 million tests will be distributed across Canada by year's end, said Anand said, and the delivery schedule is to be finalized with Abbott in the coming days.
Canada has secured options for 12 million more tests that could be ordered in the future if the government is satisfied with Panbio's performance.
Health Minister Patty Hajdu said the new Abbott device will not only take pressure off overrun testing sites, but would offer specific "advantages" for remote communities where access to laboratory testing is limited.
"They are easier to perform with limited training and can be done at the point-of-care with generally more rapid results," Hajdu said. "These are valuable tools for remote or isolated communities or special settings.
2.5 million such tests will arrive by December 31, 2020, said the government.