Whether it is through rapid tests or more extensive screening for new variants, Quebec must be much more proactive, otherwise the province, like several European countries, “will be picked up” by the government. virus.
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This is the warning launched Thursday by pharmacist and professor at the University of Montreal Diane Lamarre, who is worried about the low number of samples taken in Quebec to detect the presence of new variants.
“There are countries that really do a lot. In Denmark, we are around 70%. We may not need to go that far, but we have been told about 5 to 10%, and it seems that we are only at 3%, ”she explains.
To detect the presence of a new variant, you must sample a PCR screening test, then send it to a laboratory for genomic testing.
The pharmacist fears that by detecting so little the new variant, Quebec is still in a position of “catching up” against the virus.
“If we are in the passive mode, it is sure that we will be ‘picked up’ by the virus, she warns. You have to be proactive. We should not be satisfied with a small number of tests. We must continue to test a lot to find the first traces of outbreaks caused by these variants. ”
With even less than 1% of rapid tests used in Quebec, the government has missed a great opportunity to be proactive, believes Diane Lamarre, even if it is starting to deploy them, especially in certain schools.
“It’s late and we’re going half-heartedly. It is incomprehensible, it is not justified, ”she slices.
Fears about the reliability of these tests are invalid in his eyes and only “infantilize” Quebecers.
“We are able to tell parents in a school or people who work in a company that we are going to test you, that this test is a little less reliable, that it is possible that you are negative, but that you have it anyway, ”she said.
The pharmacist gives the example of Ontario, where by massively screening companies, we obtained 60 positive results using rapid tests. After a PCR test, 50 of them were found to be true positive.
“It’s still a triage. When you go to the hospital, you’re not sure you’re having a heart attack, but you don’t say not to go in case you don’t find out the first time you have a heart attack, -she. No, we are in a process where we try to identify things and refocus on the more precise diagnosis. ”