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Feds say 100,000 rapid COVID-19 tests have arrived, being distributed to provinces

OTTAWA — Procurement Minister Anita Anand says the first shipment of rapid tests for COVID-19 has arrived in Canada but their eventual destinations remain shrouded in mystery.

Canada signed a deal with Abbott Diagnostics to buy 7.9 million ID Now tests, which can produce results on the spot in under 15 minutes. 

Anand says the first shipment of 100,000 tests is now in hand.

The tests are to be deployed to provincial governments but neither Anand’s office nor Health Canada will say which province will get them first, or how many will be shipped where.

Provinces like Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba are desperately trying to improve testing capacity as the second wave of COVID-19 continues to surge.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa has also received more than 800 million masks, gloves, gowns and face shields and that 20 million of them were sent to provinces this month.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 21, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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