Feds promise help for COVID-19 rapid testing
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.