Quebec finally intends to use all the rapid screening tests made available to it, but unless there are major outbreaks, these will not be deployed in schools.
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Given their unreliability and the additional resources they require, rapid tests are less practical in the school system than those analyzed in the laboratory, said health ministry officials on Thursday.
- Listen to the interview with Josée Scalabrini, president of the FSE-CSQ, on QUB radio:
Right now, 83% of test results are already released within 24 hours, they said.
The 2.4 million rapid COVID-19 screening tests so far tabled may however be used, but in very specific situations identified in the report published Thursday by an expert committee formed by the government.
” […] These rapid PDS technologies have the advantage of delivering immediate results. Deployed in an intelligent and prudent manner, these rapid diagnostic tests can have a prominent place in the control of the pandemic ”, it is specified.
They can be used, among other things, in regions poorly served by current devices, in designated screening clinics where capacities are limited, or even to manage outbreaks in living environments for the elderly.
Earlier this week, the Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, had already said that the use of rapid tests to massively diagnose COVID-19 in schools and workplaces was not necessary at this stage.
Three types of rapid tests are available: a nucleic acid amplification test called ID NOW and two antigen tests, Panbio and BD Veritor.
Quebec late, according to oppositions
In the opposition, we have the impression of reliving last spring, when the Legault government and the Dr Horacio Arruda delayed before imposing the wearing of the mask.
“We have the feeling that we are all the time behind on things that become obvious,” said PQ member Véronique Hivon.
It simply cannot be explained by Minister Christian Dubé’s reluctance to resort to rapid screening tests.
“Why deprive yourself? In certain circumstances, it would be very relevant to have results that will come out in the space of an hour, when it can slow down more contamination in places that are at risk and that we have decided to keep open ”, a- she insisted, referring to schools as certain workplaces.
Liberal Marwah Rizqy recalled that Ontario has been using these rapid screening devices for a while. According to her, we have no time to waste. The member for Saint-Laurent pointed out that our hospitals are overwhelmed, that no less than 140,000 Quebeckers are awaiting an operation and that the virus kills people every day.
“We are at war, so we must take all the means at our disposal to fight effectively,” she said. Quebec, we are still late and it is a race against time to fight against the coronavirus. So in schools, we need it! ”
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