Feds prom­ise help for COVID-19 rapid test­ing

Lethbridge Herald - - Headline News | Weather -

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau is promis­ing to do more to help prov­inces re­spond to soar­ing de­mands for COVID-19 test­ing but there is still no in­di­ca­tion of when the gov­ern­ment will ap­prove the tests that can de­liver re­sults in mere min­utes.

Health Min­is­ter Patty Ha­jdu has said her depart­ment isn’t sat­is­fied that the test­ing sys­tems sub­mit­ted for ap­proval yield ac­cu­rate enough re­sults.

In Wed­nes­day’s throne speech, the gov­ern­ment said it is “pur­su­ing ev­ery tech­nol­ogy and ev­ery op­tion for faster tests for Cana­di­ans.” Once they are ap­proved, the gov­ern­ment prom­ises to de­ploy them quickly, and is cre­at­ing a “test­ing as­sis­tance re­sponse team” in the mean­time to help with the in­sa­tiable growth in de­mand.

“Cana­di­ans should not be wait­ing in line for hours to get a test,” Gov. Gen. Julie Payette read from the speech.

And yet they are.

In Kitch­ener, Ont., Wed­nes­day, peo­ple be­gan lin­ing up at a drive-thru test­ing site at 2:30 a.m. five hours be­fore it opened. By 7:30 a.m. the Grand River Hos­pi­tal site was at ca­pac­ity and by 9:15 it had closed en­tirely be­cause im­pa­tient peo­ple were get­ting ag­gres­sive with staff.

In Ottawa, peo­ple re­ported on so­cial me­dia that they were ar­riv­ing at one test­ing site be­fore 5 a.m. to find dozens of peo­ple in line ahead of them.

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