Health Canada has approved a rapid novel coronavirus test that can detect the respiratory illness in just as few as 13 minutes.
The news comes one day after the federal government announced it had signed a deal securing up to 7.9 million Abbott ID Now COVID-19 rapid tests once they were approved by Canadian health officials.
When the tests will be in the hands of health professionals — and how they will be distributed — is not yet known.
Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand said on Tuesday the swab-based tests were “point of care” tests that can then be run outside of major laboratories to provide faster results at clinics or hospitals.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford welcomed the news Tuesday of the procurement efforts by federal officials, calling the deal “a game changer.”
“There’s no one that’s been jumping up and down screaming for the rapid tests more than I have,” Ford said during a press conference Tuesday.
Ontario coronavirus cases have spiked in recent weeks, a worrisome trend also seen in Quebec and western provinces.
The test has already been green-lit in the United States, earning approval from the country’s Food and Drug Administration under its Emergency Use Authorization on Friday.
Abbott began distributing the test in the U.S. this week and said in a statement Friday it would begin ramping up manufacturing to 50,000 tests per day.
More to come.
— With files from Global News’ Tania Kohut
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